JUNE 29, 1940
HYDE PARK, Friday—We had a most interesting time yesterday morning on the roof of the Educational Alliance Building, at 197 East Broadway, New York City. Even before we reached the roof, I was conscious of the vivid stream of life that always pulses in that particular building.
Crowds were standing out on the sidewalk and some big busses were loading groups of young people on their way to camp. One summer camp houses mothers and daughters, the other takes boys. Two weeks of country life there make a vast difference to these East Side youngsters.
Several hundred young people were sitting on the roof ready to go off in search of jobs. Job hunting in pairs is a new technique. It is easier to do when you are covering stores and factories in the neighborhood, with the idea of soliciting jobs for the whole group, for you are talking for all and not yourself alone.
Cooperation is proving successful. They are getting jobs, though not as many as they would like. Still to meet together and talk it over, to give each other pointers as to how to meet the employer and impress him, all helps to keep up hope—and hope is the basis of morale.
They are going to have an essay contest in a short time on "Why I Am Unemployed. " It will be interesting to see what reasons they give. Perhaps it will enlighten some of the rest of us who search for hidden economic reasons and wonder what has happened to those jobs which every youngster could look forward to thirty or forty years ago.
We drove up the East Side Parkway and I could not help thinking what a change there is today in that waterfront. Space for many people to sit and cool off on a hot summer evening and for games of every kind, with high nets to protect the onlookers from the balls. This is better social planning than we used to have, and both the Mayor and Mr. Robert Moses deserve our thanks.
I was back in the country about 4:00 o'clock in ample time to welcome my niece and nephew, Eleanor and Henry Roosevelt, and a young friend of theirs. They are spending a few days with me. They had a swim, but it hasn't tempted me as yet, because the weather stays so cool, so we older ones went for a walk before dinner. Then I caught up on the mail.
After dinner, we listened to the news and the balloting at the Republican convention as it came over the radio. There is something a little unreal to me about all this political activity when the world seems toppling into chaos. Political memories seem to me so short. Votes and attitudes of yesterday are forgotten today.