JUNE 23, 1941
EASTPORT, Maine, Sunday—We are having the most wonderful weather, but even for this cool spot, it is warm and almost breathless. I was not surprised yesterday, when I talked to my husband, to have him tell me that the thermometer in Washington stood at ninety-six. I am afraid that Hyde Park is very nearly as warm.
Yesterday morning, on the water, it was cool and we had a grand breeze on our way over to Eastport, Maine. Once landed there, we visited various old friends in the fruit store, the drug store and the bank. Then we took a taxi and went out to Quoddy Village to visit the NYA resident project.
I had not seen this project since it had been turned over to the boys. I was impressed by the excellence of the work shops and by the tremendous interest which the boys show in the work they are doing in aviation mechanics and the regular machine shops. Out of every month, they work two weeks in the shops and one week in maintenance of houses and grounds, so that Saturdays and Sundays are free. They have good classrooms and have set up an instrument room now, because they found a demand for men who could work on instruments.
The gliders they are making are extraordinarily good, and I hope the Army will send somebody up to inspect them, because I feel they could be used for experimental purposes. An airfield is being built quite nearby, so that someday they will actually see their engines take a plane off the grounds, we hope.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this project is the actual practice of democracy. The law allows no discrimination of race or religion, and these boys have entered into the spirit of real democracy. Since they govern themselves, they see to it that no discrimination exists. They have a mayor, a council and a court. They run elections and, when they leave, they know something of the mechanics of their government and a great deal about the spirit which must animate a democracy actually to make it work.
I was very much impressed by the ex-mayor and the present mayor who went around with me and explained every step of the way. I marvelled at the way they had planned the trip. They had called a meeting and agreed that, though it was a Saturday, these boys knew that I would want to see them at work. It was decided to take Wednesday afternoon off and to work yesterday morning; no one was to ask me for autographs while I walked around.
I saw them have dinner. The food is good and yet they do it on 38¢ per boy per day. They plan a full recreational program and seem interested and happy. I think the NYA project at Quoddy is a very valuable project, for it seems to be turning out good men.