MAY 11, 1940
HYDE PARK, Friday—After Wednesday's lunch in New York City, I hurried home to see a number of people. First and foremost, I saw a gentleman who has a vision of the way in which real low cost housing might be developed for the benefit of groups which today are living in big cities in squalid conditions. He also has a desire to see private industry undertake a great housing program to eliminate slums in cities and rural areas and to replace them with medium priced houses, either for rent or ultimate ownership.
More and more people are coming to believe that a big housing program is really needed in this country, that it should be on a low cost level which should be achieved by economies in the building industry and not by giving the consumers shoddy materials and poor workmanship. I am always glad to find an interest of this kind, even though it may not be translated immediately into action. Constant talk and thought on this subject will eventually, I think, have the effect of a rolling snowball.
Our evening was spent with Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Flynn and some friends. I was happy to be with them and to see their boys, who were such delightful guests at the White House not long ago. They have a little girl who was considered too young to come to Washington, and so she announced last night that she was going to stay up as long as I was in the house. I hope her eyes closed long before I left, for we stayed until rather a late hour.
Many people came to see me yesterday morning to talk of their special interests. I often wish I had the power to help all the worthwhile things brought to my attention. However, it is encouraging to have the opportunity to see the fine people who are working so unselfishly in so many different fields to achieve results for the benefit of their fellow human beings.
We had an early lunch and went to the broadcasting station and then motored to Hyde Park. The early part of the day was not as pleasant as Wednesday, and I was grieved for I thought I would not see the sun shining on our country surroundings. But, by the time we were ready to start, the sun came out and the drive along the park was beautiful, with the forsythia and trees and shrubs in bloom. After one night at my cottage, we started out again on our drive to Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. I thought all day of a trip we had taken a few years ago to St. Paul's School, when one of my nephews was head boy there. There is something very touching in the contact with these youngsters, so full of fire and promise and curiosity about life. One can not help dreading what life may do to them and yet each generation starts out with the same high hopes and the same high spirit. Youth has courage and the spirit of adventure and we should give it our confidence.