NOVEMBER 22, 1939
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—It was interesting yesterday at lunch to talk to Miss Cecile Hamilton about the problems of the woman aviator. Apparently, they may spend a great deal of money learning how to fly and never get a chance at a job. I recalled that some time ago a study was being made of the resistence of women to different strains experienced in flying, so I asked if this study had ever been completed. Apparently, it is still in the indecisive stage.
There must, however, be possibilities for women pilots to be helpful. It seems to me that it would be well to canvass the value of the service they could render in cases of emergency. For instance, during floods and disasters of various kinds, the Army flies supplies of food and medicine. A woman who could both take a turn as a pilot and be useful on landing in assisting women and children, might be valuable.
I have been wondering for a long time whether, in taking a new census, it would not be a wise thing to tabulate the returns where the women are concerned, from the point of view of their usefulness in emergencies in their own localities. It might even be a good thing to set up certain centers where women could take training in occupations where they were qualified in time of need, every woman would then know exactly what her job was, or what she could volunteer to do. Just now, when we have so many unemployed young people, it would seem to me a great opportunity to develop them for the future and give them a feeling that they are doing something in the way of service to their country.
I spent some time this morning wandering through the exposition of painting and sculpture designed for federal buildings and held in the Corcoran Art Gallery. It will remain open until next Sunday. It is very different from that first WPA show which was hung on these same walls. There is a calmness and security in most of this painting, though a greater consciousness of social conditions is shown in paintings like "Contemporary Justice and the Child," by Symeon Shimin. For decorative quality, I think our Indian artists always stand out. A group of them are working on decorations in the Interior Department Building, which I am looking forward to seeing.
The winner of the contest for the St. Louis, Mo., post office murals, Edward Millman and Mitchell Siporin, have an extraordinarily interesting design. The work will not be finished for two years. Each of the 48 states held a state competition and the room in which the paintings by the winners of this competition are exhibited would be well worth a long study. It seems a shame to single out any individual for mention when the whole exhibition is so worthwhile. I feel I want to congratulate all those who have sent in work for this exhibition.