OCTOBER 31, 1940
WATERVILLE, Maine, Wednesday—I did not have space to tell you yesterday that after I arrived in New York City Monday afternoon, I went over to the Preview Theatre to see a short film dedicated to the activities of the National Youth Administration. I hope it will be run by every motion picture theatre in this country, for it has a deeply moving story to tell. The story is that of our young boys and girls who are grown to maturity and find no outlet for their energies, no work, no experience, no chance for a start. Then a series of pictures show the projects started during the past few years by the NYA.
It is a picture which will make you feel proud of our young people and what they can do when they are given a chance. But I doubt if any one of us can feel very satisfied with the world we have created. We know that even with this program, only one out of every seven of the young people in our communities who need training or work, is getting it.
Here, before our eyes, we see the proof that we have learned how to give these youngsters training, how to give them a chance at real work on a production basis; so that they need not answer the question: "What experience have you?" with that hopeless "none" which means no job. Yet, we have only developed this program for a limited number. The CCC and NYA should cover every boy and girl coming out of school who is not able to obtain work in private industry, or who is not called to service under the selective draft.
Our drive up into Maine yesterday was very lovely. Maine is full of little blue lakes and big green pines around them have a delicious fragrance. The rest of the trees are rather dwarfed and stunted and the land is certainly rocky and none too productive. However, out of it a good many people seem to have wrung a fair living. There are many good sized farm houses. The older ones are built in a characteristic way for our cold states, with the barn tacked right on to the house so that the men do not have to go out in winter when they feed the stock.
Mr. and Mrs. John Cutter's house is way off the main road over a good dirt road which is rather narrow and winding. We were well content we did not meet any other car as we came along. When we drove in the gate, all the dogs set up a tremendous barking, for they evidently do not like intruders. Mr. Cutter came to greet us and to say that his wife was still at cooking school, but would be back shortly.
It seemed almost too good to be true that Greece could really hold her own. One cannot help hoping that this little country may have a chance to preserve its independence.