MARCH 4, 1941
WASHINGTON, Monday —Mr. and Mrs. Hendrik van Loon and Miss Grace Castagnetta, who played with the National Symphony Orchestra at their concert on Sunday afternoon, have been our guests over the weekend.
Saturday morning I had a brief conference with the members of the National Religion and Labor Foundation, who were in Washington for the first national conference on theological education and labor. They had visited a number of government officials and were interested in seeing the White House. I was glad to have an opportunity of seeing so many young people from theological seminaries, as well as older people who are ministers themselves. There also were one or two leaders in the labor movement who are members of this group, among them my old friend, Miss Lucy Mason, whom I was particularly glad to see.
Yesterday I had an opportunity to spend a little while with Mr. Edward Bruce, and we had a number of guests at luncheon, including Mrs. George Kaufman, Miss Ruth Gordon and Mrs. Alice Duer Miller. The rest of the day was fairly quiet. This morning I am going to New York City, where I have one or two afternoon engagements.
A recent letter has brought my attention to the fact that those of us who do not suffer certain handicaps, often fail to be able to imagine what people go through who are handicapped. The letter came to me from one of the speech teachers in the New York City school system, who makes a plea that those of us who make fun of the stutterer, should stop and think how hard it is for "a sensitive person who cannot ask a simple question or use the telephone."
She contends that our light-hearted jokes bring shame and suffering to many people. I can quite see that there would be no element of mirth in a joke when you, yourself, are the victim.
The United States Office of Education, which is part of the Federal Security Agency, is issuing a bulletin about an "information exchange" on "education and the national defense." This is a new service and is intended to act as a clearinghouse for ideas and material on education and national defense.
Teachers who want to help in the defense effort of their country can do three things now. They can tell the Office of Education what kind of help they would like to have through it. They can explain what developments they consider important to their particular field of work in the present situation. They can send materials to the Exchange which can be used by perhaps other groups in connection with the defense program.
Education is such a vital part of national defense that I think Dr. John Studebaker has made a valuable contribution in developing this exchange.