NOVEMBER 13, 1940
DETROIT, Tuesday—In the past few days both England and the United States have suffered the loss of two well-known statesmen. Senator Key Pittman has been in the Senate for many years. His service is a matter of record. He was liked by the men with whom he worked. He kept his hold over his constituency and carried more weight in public affairs than the population of his state would indicate.
As younger men come along to take their place on the political stage, they will often hear Senator Pittman's name. He will not be forgotten in the traditions of this honorable and important branch of our government.
Neville Chamberlain, in England, served his country through desperate times. Many people have felt that his policy toward Germany was unwise and dangerous. Perhaps it would be fair to say that his training and his inclination fitted him for different times and different service. He did his best according to his background. He wanted peace and worked for it. That he failed was due to the times in which he lived and the men with whom he had to cope. He must have suffered greatly and history will record that he, at least, dealt honorably with the people whom he approached.
We arrived in Chicago yesterday afternoon, oblivious of the fact that one of the worst of winter's storms had been raging through the Middle West for several hours. But we no sooner emerged on the street, than we were conscious of the high wind and the swirling snow. One of the biggest street signs in Chicago was blown down, windows were broken, people were battered about. Toward late afternoon, the storm had spent itself and when we went out for the evening, the wind had practically disappeared.
I lectured at a forum, where I spoke some four years ago. Then a night train brought us to Detroit this morning. Here again, there are signs of the storm everywhere. The little square outside of the Statler Hotel is filled with broken glass. One of the highest radio towers was blown down. When nature goes on the rampage, we mortals discover how puny human beings and their works really are. In Romania, the earthquake seems to have accomplished in a few short hours what all the aviators of Great Britain have tried unsuccessfully to do for weeks—fires are raging, oil wells are destroyed and Herr Hitler can direct his rage at no human hand. In this case it looks as though nature was against him.
The sun is out and the day looks most inviting, and shortly I shall visit some WPA projects.