JULY 15, 1940
CHAUTAUQUA, Ohio, Sunday —Here it is Sunday morning and we are speeding through peaceful, pleasant American countryside. We passed a village a few minutes ago with people going to church, and now a golf course dotted with players. Along a country road, several young people on bicycles with packs strapped on the handlebars, are off, I imagine, for a day's picnic and swim in some clear pool.
Thank God, these things can still be for us.
Yesterday I had a ride and swim in the morning, and Mrs. Florence Kerr, head of the Women's and Professional Projects in WPA, brought her regional area supervisors for a picnic lunch. We sat in the sun on the lawn and I heard reports of the work being carried on in different parts of the country. We discussed at some length the relationship of much of the training which is going on under WPA to the emergency situation created by the need for national defense.
I have recently been looking over a pamphlet called "If War Comes. M.–Day Plan. What Your Government Plans For You," by Donald Edward Keyhoe. It is very interesting, though the War Department says nothing of the kind has been worked out in such detail and, so far as they are concerned, the whole thing is still in the realm of discussion.
My main objection to this plan is that, while the publication of such a plan may be of value in arousing the United States to the realization of the possibility of someday having to defend its own shores, the plan does not make clear that it is too late to undertake such mobilization when there is an attack.
Mobilization, if it is going to have any deterrent effect, must be perfected long before there is a war in which we can take any part. Our only hope of keeping the peace which we so prize, is to prove before there is any involvement in war, that we are a unified nation for defense, mobilized that each and every one of us know what job to do, how and where to do it. Therein lies the one hope for peace.
In the evening a party of us went up for dinner to the Norrie Park Point Inn Restaurant. The sunset and glow reflected itself on the water. It was a beautiful and calm sight. We sat out on the terrace and someone pointed up in the air when an aeroplane was flying down the river, apparently almost touching the moon.
A man, in what looked like a Tyrolese costume, played his accordian. Some of the songs I have heard in European countries in happier days. For a moment I almost thought we were looking at some less familiar scene than the Hudson River which I have known since childhood.