MAY 6, 1940
WASHINGTON, Sunday—More and more women are attending the National Institute of Government Conference. Mrs. Dorothy McAllister, vice-chairman of the Women's Division of the National Democratic Committee, expected to have a few hundred women but they came by thousands, just as the young people came to the Citizenship Institute in February. They made so much noise in the galleries in the House of Representatives, the members had a hard time hearing themselves talk!
Though some cynics may think they came because of an invitation to the White House or for entertainment, I would like to pay tribute to Miss Molly Dewson, Mrs. Dorothy McAllister, Mrs. May Evans and the staff of the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee, who have painstakingly developed the educational program for the Democratic women which has finally really created an informed group eager for closer contact with their government's officials.
Many of the women have little money and came at great personal sacrifice, for they are interested in the program which is being developed and want to know how they can make it more effective. This meeting has been one of the most heartening things to men and women alike in the Democratic Party. There has always been the old type of politician who believes that good politics is getting and giving jobs and has nothing whatever to do with the education and real beliefs of the people. This meeting must convince some of the old-timers that there is some change in the world of politics, just as there is in the world of economics. Today there are women who want to think about and understand the policies and principles of their party, as well as to profit from the patronage grab-bag, or from any social recognition which politics may bring.
I spent a little while with the Young Democratic Women on Friday afternoon, and was impressed by their alertness and desire really to express themselves.
Yesterday afternoon I visited the Central Union Mission and the Children's Emergency Home. I have attended their Christmas parties every year, but have never visited their buildings. Now they have a campaign on to raise funds for the enlargement of these buildings. I was very much interested in what I saw and wish very much that I could also have seen their farm and camp at Brookeville, Maryland. This work certainly deserves the support of the community.
It is fortunate that we have a great many people in this country and that they have a great many interests. Every other day, it seems to me, I receive a notice about some new kind of week which is to be celebrated! Today I hear that May 5th to 11th is to be National Music Week. While they have no general program, the sponsors are asking all kinds of groups interested in music to feature American music. It does not mean that we should not love all kinds of music, for music belongs to the world no matter where it comes from, but it does mean that we should develop the talent we have in our own country, which can only be done if we, ourselves, appreciate it and develop it for the world.