MAY 30, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—The closing session of the National Nutrition Conference for Defense, yesterday afternoon, was most interesting to me. I heard Dr. Thomas Parran, of the United States Public Health Service, speak, and Mr. M. L. Wilson, Director of Extension Work in the Department of Agriculture, present the recommendations which came as a result of the various group meetings and from the conference as a whole.
This seems to me to have been a very valuable meeting. It brought together not only the people, like the home economic experts who have studied nutrition for years, but the educators, doctors, parent-teacher groups, business and professional women et cetera. All possible groups must be interested if a program of education is really to be carried on throughout the country.
I returned to the White House to see a number of people at tea, and to shake hands with the little Girl Scout, Beatrice Vlach, and another very charming young girl, Dorothea Bock, both of them winners in contests which provided as a prize a trip to Washington, D.C.
In the evening, I went to my local Newspaper Guild meeting. Then I found a basket of mail awaiting me, but even with this to do, I did not have to sit up very late. It is becoming easier to get through the work, though I must say the days seem to be filled. I don't believe that the time will ever come in Washington when we can sit down and say: "There is nothing left which we ought to do."
This morning, I started off very early after saying goodbye to Miss Flora Rose, who is going up to Cornell after her trip across the Continent from California to attend the Nutrition Conference here.
I reached Catholic University a little after 9:00, thinking that I was going to see a nursery school. After wandering around for some little time, I discovered a "nursing school" and had the pleasure of talking about their course for a few minutes. Eventually I found what they had really wanted me to see! A group from Catholic University has taken a small house, where they are running a nursery school, a boys club, and a sewing class for adolescent girls.
The expense is borne by some of those working in the sociology courses, who deny themselves in order to carry on this work. It is, perhaps, the most valuable kind of education, because there is nothing as valuable as actual contact with problems and an effort to work them out in a practical way. A number of these small units are operating separately, instead of working in one large center, which is a somewhat novel experiment here.
After a few appointments this afternoon, Miss Thompson and I are going to fly to New York and drive up to Hyde Park. We arrive there a little later than my husband, who has just left by train.