JULY 30, 1940
HYDE PARK, Monday—The heat continues, but the country is unbelievably lovely. Because of the rains we have had, everything is green. My purple loosestrife, which turns all the ground around my pond into one great blaze of color, is beginning to come out. I love the first faint tinge of purple and its gradual rise to a deeper tone.
The sunsets have been beautiful across our little sheet of water, but they give no hope of cooler weather. Not even thunderstorms have brought relief. My porch is cool at night, however, and last night I read through Ernst Toller's play: "Pastor Hall," which forms the basis of the English movie of that name, which my son is soon producing. I think in many ways this movie will put the ideas which are in the play more clearly before the people of this country, and that they should become more familiar with them.
Yesterday, in the late afternoon, some of us drove up to the Vanderbilt estate which has been acquired by the United States Government to be administered by the National Park Service. It will be opened to the public on Tuesday next. The State of New York owns the Ogden Mills House and place, about ten miles further up the river, and I think it will be interesting to many people.
Individuals are not going to live in houses like these in the future, partly because few will have any desire to do so, and partly because our social setup will be so changed that it will not be possible. Historically, however, it will be interesting to see the various steps through which we have come in our development.
I wonder if we have really grown to the point where the size of a house in which a person lives will have little interest to his neighbors, but what he contributes in mind and character to the community will bring him respect and admiration? If we have, we are entering an era where the arts, sciences and cultures of every kind may come into their own.
In one of the morning papers, at the very end of an editorial on the events taking place in Havana, there is a little paragraph which all of us can take to heart. "Havana is an interesting beginning, but it will have to be implemented; Pan-Americanism is coming to life as a political force, but it will quickly die again unless we create the conditions for its survival." We, the people, are the only ones who can create those conditions. I wonder if we will have the understanding and determination necessary for this new development of our citizenship.