JANUARY 19, 1940
WASHINGTON, Thursday—I have been sent an original cartoon by Wortman as a gift and I do not think anything I have received of late has entertained or pleased me more than this. It depicts "Mopey and the Duke" and the caption under it says: "Pull up your socks, and straighten your tie, Duke, you never can tell when you will run into Mrs. Roosevelt." I am not quite sure, however, that this suggests the kind of person who is always a welcome visitor, but it takes me right back twenty-five odd years to a collection of small boys who were always reminding each other that mother might be around the corner and they had better tidy up!
Yesterday was one of those days when I seemed to be busy every moment and afterwards could think of nothing I had really accomplished. There were only five of us at luncheon, two of my cousins, and a friend besides Miss Thompson and myself, and that seemed to me a very peaceful interlude. Some friends came in a group from North Carolina to reiterate their invitation that I come there this spring, not on a lecture trip, but to attend a Federation of Women's Clubs meetings and see something of the NYA work. By coordinating many of their youth agencies, they are really making a concerted effort to find jobs and fit young people in them. I am happy to say that they are meeting with some measure of success.
Someone said to me this morning that we had neglected educating young people to do occupational therapy work. I am wondering if this is a field where many talents could be usefully employed and which would appeal to both young men and young women as a career.
I received a pamphlet yesterday which I think may have a germ of some real achievement for the future. It is called: "Vocational Adoption," and was published, I believe, in the New York Times. What interested me was that the man has actually placed over a thousand young people in various careers without displacing anyone, for in each case he asked that new work be created for the applicant and in almost every case when the apprenticeship period was over, it resulted in a real job.
I forgot to tell you that I had a visit from a group of representatives of the southern Missouri and Arkansas sharecroppers. Dr. Will W. Alexander of the Farm Security Administration, and Mr. Philip F. Maguire of the Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation, listened with me to their problems. They are serious problems, but at last some light is breaking, for representatives of the plantation owners have come to the Farm Security Administration and have agreed to cooperate.
The plight of the sharecropper, thrown out of his shack with no possessions and no income, is sad indeed. There is a camp in Missouri for which the land was bought by some St. Louis women, but it is already overcrowded and there is not enough ground to raise food for the families on it. There is no school, so 138 children are without a chance for education. This is not only a Missouri problem, but a problem which extends to a great many states in our country. I am glad that there is not only this meeting of sharecroppers here, but that there will be an opportunity from now on for many people to learn about this problem.