NOVEMBER 18, 1939
WASHINGTON, Friday—The weather in Washington is still like Indian Summer. I could not help thinking how breath-takingly lovely this city is, for it is more nearly like living in the country since trees and parks are so much a part of the landscape.
Threegentlemen came to lunch with me yesterday. Each one of them has something really interesting that he is working on. The Secretary of Labor had asked me to see Father Patterson of South Dakota. I was prepared to be interested in his work, but found myself equally interested in his personality. Determination and driving power come out strongly in his young and sensitive face when he begins to talk about what he wants to do for the dependent children of South Dakota. They are trying to establish a memorial to Grace Abbott, a home where children may be placed while foster parents are found for them.
As it is now, a child who is left homeless or who must be taken from an undesirable home, has to be declared delinquent and may find himself in a reform school with boys who have already learned many things from life that are better left out of a child's education. All the rest of his life he must carry the stigma of being a delinquent child, simply because there is no other place to put him in the interval of getting some permanent plan made for his future.
South Dakota is one of the States which has been through so many years of drought that it is hard to urge on the people the undertaking of even necessary work like this, for they simply have not the taxable values to meet the demands of state government. This is a misfortune in which the rest of the nation has a stake, for the children of today make up the nation of the future. They do not remain in South Dakota, they may be your neighbors wherever you live in the days to come.
My cousin, Monroe Robinson, who is interested in transportation problems kept us talking over a variety of subjects and I was sorry to bring the luncheon hour to a close.
In the evening I went to speak to the home economics section of the Land Grant Colleges Association, meeting here for their annual convention. It was good to see Dr. Louise Stanley and Miss Flora Rose, of Cornell University again. Some people lift your spirit just by contact and Flora Rose has always had that effect on me.
This morning at 9:30 I went to the general session of this association. I spoke for a few minutes and then had the opportunity of hearing the Secretary of Agriculture speak on conservation. I was particularly interested in the stress which he laid on the fact that all of conservation has as a primary object the conservation of human beings. I was glad that he pointed out the relationship between the preservation of civilization and the preservation of our natural resources.