FEBRUARY 10, 1941
CHARLESTON, W. Va., Sunday —On Friday night, in New York City, I attended one of the nicest graduation ceremonies in which I have ever taken part. Harlem Hospital, which is a city hospital, has a training school for nurses. These colored girls must have a high school education at least, and many of them have college degrees.
Most of them come from New York City, though there were girls graduating whose homes were in Pennsylvania, Texas, Mississippi and other states. I imagine that the greater number of them would like to remain in New York City in order that they may make a little more money, but I hope that some of them will find their way to states where they are much needed. The superintendent of the hospital, told me she had just placed four girls in administrative positions in the South.
The exercises were held in Mother Zion Church. Then we went over to the nurses home, where the girls with their families and friends, were received and where we all had supper.
Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and I had to hurry home afterwards to dress and to meet Miss Thompson to board the night train for Washington, because the stormy weather made us fear there would be no flying Saturday morning. However, we arrived in Washington to find clear blue skies. But, if I had not had a full day at home, I wonder how I would ever have left for Charleston, W. Va., last night.
There were guests at lunch and guests at dinner and quite a large group of young people for tea. Mr. Julien Bryan showed his pictures taken in Brazil and told us about them after dinner. The President and I, and all our guests, who included Vice-President and Mrs. Wallace, Mr. John Hay Whitney and several people from Mr. Nelson Rockefeller's office as well as our own house guests, enjoyed not only Mr. Bryan's lecture with pictures, but also the brief special arrangement he has made for the movies.
He has done the same thing in other South American countries and I think he will contribute much to our knowledge of them. The possibilities for production and interchange of goods appeared before us and our opportunities for better cultural relations were made evident by the pictures. He shows what other nations, such as Great Britain, Italy and Germany, have done.
It is easy to see that Germany has put more thought and money into her relationship with Brazil, at least, than we have. Mr. Bryan told us, however, that he estimated that 80 percent of the people were friendly to the United States. But we have not proved ourselves as yet, and the results of the war in Europe will have some effect on our influence in this hemisphere.
After the pictures were over, Miss Thompson and I took the train and arrived this morning in Montgomery, W. Va., to go through Dr. Laird's hospital there. I think I shall write a whole column about this hospital someday. In the meantime, I wish that hospital managers all over this country could see it. It is the most encouraging place I have seen for many a long day.