JUNE 18, 1940
WASHINGTON, Monday—I had a most beautiful drive yesterday afternoon along the banks of the Hudson. However, I learned all over again how many of us in this country have cars, for our progress was slow indeed. Though that gives more time to enjoy the scenery, if one has a destination to reach at a given time, it can be a trifle distracting.
On the way back, I found a much less frequented, if not quite as scenically beautiful road. I arrived home in plenty of time to dine with Mr. and Mrs. Parish and have another quiet evening before I had to leave for New York City to take the midnight train for Washington.
It is gray and cool here today and I have spent the morning at a meeting of the state directors of the National Youth Administration. These people have such an important and responsible piece of work to do. I am sure for many of them the adjustment to world developments during the past few weeks has been as difficult as it has been for the rest of us.
The world in which we all advocated peace and reason, suddenly turns into a world in which we must prepare grimly for defense. It is not easy to face, and yet the very people who believe in peace and reason must be the ones to take part in the changes of attitudes and of approach to new situations, or we lose the chance to preserve the things we hold dear for the future.
I had a most interesting visit the other day from a young man who is planning to make a tour this summer with a group from Harvard College. During the trip, a real effort will be made to get in touch with the people of the countries they visit, which include Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentine. It seems to me that this group will have an extraordinarily interesting and worthwhile summer vacation. I hope it will be the beginning of many such interchanges of hospitality between South and Central America and the United States.
Here, in our own country, there is another educational experiment, which I think of great value. It is called "Work Camps For America." These camps develop young people in ways which today are especially valuable. They live, work and play together and have an opportunity to discuss and put into practice their concept of democracy.
In explaining their work, they say one thing which I think we need to keep before us—"The task of democracy in this generation is essentially the same, a call to work out basic spiritual values in terms of new threats and new oppositions. The only thing to do is to regenerate our democracy."