FEBRUARY 14, 1940
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon was a fairly busy one. First of all, the Society of Sponsors, who are holding their annual meeting here, came to tea. Then, at about five-thirty, the members of the American Youth Congress Assembly, who had been holding their final meetings all day, came to tea. I have never seen a more appreciative group and was impressed by their interest in the White House and their admiration of the new Lincoln portrait hanging in the State Dining Room. So many people pay no attention to their surroundings, and it was interesting to note how wide awake and appreciative these youngsters were.
I feel that their program for work is good. It calls for councils to survey for jobs in different localities and to open up as many new opportunities as possible, as well as for a method of keeping before communities the situation in which great numbers of young people find themselves. This is a constructive program. Of course, this method is the way by which they hope to show people that, until jobs are available to young people who are ready and willing to work, the American Youth Act must fill the gap. The act provides, among other things, for a permanent National Youth Administration with a much larger grant of money, $500,000,000 in fact, to give both vocational guidance and training and work at prevailing wages on public projects to all unemployed young people.
In the evening I went to speak to the Monday Evening Club, a group of people in Washington who are concerned with civic betterment, and who have worked a long time on improving conditions from various angles.
This morning, I had a swim before a rather late breakfast. I feel, because I have no more official engagements in Washington until March, that I have already begun a holiday, even though there will be two days at the end of this week when I shall be working very hard—one in Tallahassee and one in Daytona Beach, Florida. I don't suppose that tomorrow and Thursday in Ithaca, N. Y., will be, on the whole, a period of rest and inactivity. I shall tell you more about that as we go along.
I want to remind people who are interested in the progress that women have made, that February 15th will be Susan B. Anthony's birthday. It seems to me that, in the words of Rheta Childe Dorr: "....every woman who holds a job, who goes to college, who is a lawyer, doctor, scientist, teacher, as well as every mother who has the power to protect her children, and above all, every woman who votes or holds office, owes to Susan B. Anthony a debt of gratitude that can never be paid."
Sometimes we forget how rapidly changes have come about for women and how much progress has been made toward their participation as persons in the life of our nation.