SEPTEMBER 30, 1940
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Friday night I had the pleasure of interviewing on the radio a group of most interesting and distinguished people. They worked well together and were patient beyond words in rehearsal. They listened to everything which they were told about radio procedure, and I am sure they have received many favorable comments on the work they did. Some of them will probably, also, receive a few unfavorable messages.
It is always interesting to me that the people who are opposed to what you do or say are the first ones to put pen to paper. There have been times when I thought all the world was outraged, until I made the discovery that people who are "agin" something write readily.
I should have known it long ago from watching some of my brethren of the press. It is a fact one forgets, so, in case you ever receive a great many unfavorable comments, let me console you. In all probability, there are people who approve as well as those who disapprove.
Last week there was held at the New York World's Fair a demonstration of work done in four hundred sheltered workshops in this country. These worshops annually help a hundred thousand handicapped persons to readjust themselves and to earn a living. The House of Sheltered Workshops at the World's Fair, which was furnished completely by 18 shops employing handicapped persons in New York City and other Eastern cities, actually had some of these people in that house performing the tasks which they had performed as contributions to the furnishing of the house.
Sheltered workshop employees are paid standard piecework rates and their commodities sell on the open market, so they are not subsidized labor. They operate under the provisions of the Wages and Hours Act, and the only philanthropic aspect of the workshop is comprised in the social and medical services needed to assist these handicapped workers back on the road to self-support. This work was begun in the days of the World War, when wounded veterans had to have some place to retrain for new skills.
Few people then foresaw that it would grow until, today, the gross turnover in the sheltered workshops amounts to three million dollars a year. If you failed to see this exhibit at the Fair, you can still visit the workshops themselves.
Another group of NYA boys from Woodstock, N. Y., picnicked with me yesterday. We spent last evening quietly at home with a few friends. Today we enjoyed every minute of the beautiful weather out of doors and played games and sat in the sun, until the chill of afternoon made us seek the warmth of the fireplace.