OCTOBER 27, 1939
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—I did not have space yesterday to tell you that I had the pleasure of meeting, in Muncie, Ind., the two young fliers who set the new endurance record by staying in the air for twenty-two days. They were in a plane which did not allow them to stand up, so one boy said that when they finally landed his knees buckled under him. I asked them what they had to eat during this long period and was told that tomato juice and fried chicken was a favorite diet. One boy added that it still is his favorite diet in spite of having had a good deal of it during the past few weeks. They are going to have their first flight in a Douglas transport plane this week, since they are journeying to New York to appear on a radio program.
On arriving in Detroit this morning, we made our way to the station restaurant for breakfast where we were joined by four of my nieces and a sister-in-law, and then we continued on our trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I have heard so much about the University of Michigan, that I am particularly glad of the opportunity to see it. The trees alone would make the grounds attractive, but the campus has some really beautiful buildings and I am looking forward to seeing the interior of some of them this afternoon.
This morning I went out with Mr. Connor, Regional Director of WPA, and saw a project which is being conducted in collaboration with the university. Men and women, under able supervision, are gathering source material for use throughout the state by other projects which are making visual material of various kinds to be used in public school work.
For instance, in the source project, a young colored man showed me drawings he had executed of a Dutch kitchen. It was perfect in every detail. With the kitchen went the details of figures showing the clothes worn by men and women of the period and listing the materials from which they were made. There will be an exhibit here next week showing examples of this work as done throughout the state, and this morning I saw part of the exhibit. There were dolls in foreign and period costumes, ships which began with the savage who floated on a log and continued up to the modern steamships, houses of various periods and many other things, all beautifully made. The thing which interested me the most was a series of maps showing the condition of the soil in various parts of the state. I was told that the material for these maps had been gathered over a long period of years, but never before had been made available to the public because there was no money to do the work of cataloguing and making the maps.
There is one unique project being carried on here—a correspondence course available to people of low incomes at whatever level of education they may find themselves. This is a much needed personal service, and the fact that papers come in for correction at the rate of some 200 a day would tend to show that people are anxious to avail themselves of this new opportunity for education.