SEPTEMBER 20, 1940
NEW YORK, Friday—Last night we attended the concert at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, in which the All-American Youth Orchestra gave a program of Bach which was completely enchanting. It was so beautifully conducted and played, that I felt as though I were hearing this music for the first time.
The second half of the program, Symphony Number Five, by Shostakovich, I had never heard before, and because it was unfamiliar, I enjoyed certain parts more than I did others. But taken all in all, it was an unforgettable evening, and one in which you were proud of the achievements of young America in music.
They say no young country can produce great artists or great musicians. Then we must be growing up, for we did hear a great all-American symphony orchestra last night.
Yesterday morning, I spent two-and-a-half hours in Washington with the National Recreation and Educational Council. They called upon all government agencies touching the fields of education and recreation, to give a report on their work in order that the private agencies might better understand how all facilities could be integrated for the good of the people.
It is a good thing that we are seeking normal outlets for recreation for young and old. I think it is also a good sign that we are coming to consider education and recreation as being closely bound together. We need to go one step further and realize that there is much to be done in the field of recreation which will develop our responsibilities as citizens.
We talk so much of how to develop patriotism, and it seems to me fairly obvious that patriotism comes through a devotion to a way of life. That way of life may be lived in a rural area, in a city or in a small town. Our heartstrings may be bound up with the scenery, soil or the house in which we live, but even this love of a particular piece of ground, of particular surroundings, will not give that passion of patriotism which makes people live and die for an ideal. That comes only through devotion to a way of life, something which you strive to achieve day in and day out, something which sets the standards by which you live.
Before I left Washington, the President returned from Alabama. It was a sad trip for all of Speaker Bankhead's friends.
This sad event, also, will make a great difference in the way things move in Congress this week, and the President was uncertain as to his own plans. I will meet him, however, in Philadelphia on Friday.
I am now leaving to attend a meeting of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children.