SEPTEMBER 3, 1940
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aboard the President's train. Monday—I did not have space to tell you of a visit last Friday from the director of the Woodstock, New York, NYA camp. He brought a group of boys interested in making homespun yarn for weaving projects. We had a picnic lunch and then I took them over to discuss their problems with our weaver of homespun materials, Mrs. Nellie Johannesen, at the Val-Kill weaving shop. They spent some time and I hope they felt the exchange of information was mutually valuable.
On Saturday, the Roosevelt Home Club held its yearly meeting. These meetings have a homey flavor which would be hard to duplicate anywhere else. After the newspaper people had all written their stories, they came to the cottage for the annual Labor Day picnic, which was held ahead of time. Everyone seemed to like our food; baked beans, corn, hot dogs, doughnuts, pies and coffee. Wally Mitchell played his accordian on the porch after supper, so all gathered there and sang until the President went home.
On Sunday morning we left the house at 9:30 and waved goodbye to our young Norwegian guests, who looked very much the way my children looked like in the old days when we used to drive away and leave them at home—just a bit forlorn.
In Weehawken, New Jersey, the Crown Princess and her lady-in- waiting, were met by the Norwegian Minister. I hope they will have several pleasant days and enjoy seeing some of their Norwegian friends and that they will be back in the country before I return there.
By the time we reached Washington, the sun was shining and the air in the station seemed warm in contrast to the the air-conditioned car.
I was sorry to hear of the airplane accident in which Senator Lundeen and so many people lost their lives. The Pennsylvania Airlines had such a good record for safety, in fact all of the commercial airlines have been so fortunate in this respect, that one regrets to see an accident such as this occur.
From Bishop Atwood, I received today a copy of a "note" written by a young Englishman, and certain excerpts from it seem to me very significant. He writes: "It seems to me clear beyond a doubt that the nation has changed permanently and that return to our old grooves of thought is no longer possible. I do not think that the swing back to 'business as usual' of the post 1918 years could, under any circumstances, take place at the end of this war."
And again: "Apathy is man's besetting sin and it was apathy—reluctance to change, etc.—which caused us to stray so far from the purposes of life, in these last decades. I think, however, that we are nearing the point in our evolution when we can so construct the social framework that there will be a constant stimulus and inspiration in life, making war unnecessary. Struggle and effort can be found in many other fields other than that of battle."