NOVEMBER 20, 1939
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Last Friday evening we reached New York City just in time to have diiner then, with my son, Jimmy, Miss Thompson and I went to the World Theatre to see a French movie called "Harvest." It is a simple story, dealing with the earth and the very primitive urge of a man to work for the woman he loves, and, by doing so, to bring life back to the land which seems to have become useless. He does it by discovering a little patch of unused earth which is still good enough to grow wheat and he does all the work with his own hands.
That is not a lesson we would have to teach in this country, for with us it is a question of accepting scientific modern methods of soil conservation to meet a variety of ills which have befallen our soil because of our past ignorance. We cannot teach the use of one's hands, for machinery knocks always at our door as a competitor. The basic lesson, however, that man will find a way to work constructively if he has a sufficient urge, is one fitted to all countries at all times.
The acting is good and the surmounting of the language difficulty by translations on the screen is quite remarkable, though the fine points of humor are somewhat dulled.
Saturday morning I saw a number of people who wanted to talk to me about a variety of things. After lunching with a friend, I stopped on the way to Hyde Park to speak to the Bronx Free Fellowship, a forum meeting where questions came thick and fast. We arrived at Hyde Park in time for dinner and I found my husband full of plans for the laying of the library cornerstone today.
I am glad to say that this morning is a beautiful, clear day, for it makes a great difference when ceremonies have to be held out of doors. I am also glad that the weather is not too cold.
Even with the best of weather, I do not imagine many people will come to see the laying of the cornerstone, but those most interested in this period of history will want to see evry step covering the erection of this building. It has gone up very quickly in the last two weeks and I think the builders' hope that the roof will be on before snow may be realized. Next autumn, I suppose, will come the real dedication and then the never-ending, interesting task of receiving and cataloguing and making available to the public, the historical documents and collections made by various individuals during this period of history.
I am off for a ride now before our guests arrive.