AUGUST 8, 1941
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Yesterday was a particularly pleasant and uneventful day. A friend came with her little daughter to lunch, and we swam and sat about in the sun for a while.
In the evening, I read aloud Mr. David Cushman Coyle's little book, "America." He has gathered together in brief form many of the arguments which most of us find convincing today in our outlook on world and domestic affairs. I think this short recapitulation will prove of value to schools and colleges as well as individual readers.
A letter has just come to me which I want to quote and answer in this column: "Referring to a recent 'My Day' article the following is your statement: 'In the United States there are many areas where children cannot get to school and besides there are many families who have no clothes for their children.' For more than eight years your husband has been the directing head of the United States and his announced policy on taking office was the 'forgotten man.'
"With the information you must have on the matter I have quoted, I would be pleased to have your explanation as to why such conditions continue to exist in the United States.
"Your explanation, I think, should have the same amount of publicity as your original statement."
The answer seems to me fairly simple. This Administration has put on the statute books a great deal of social legislation. Much of it was passed in opposition to the desires of many people, who honestly believed that conditions would return to what they once were and that it is a mistake to try to find new ways to adjust to new conditions. Experience alone can prove whether plans undertaken can have permanent value or not.
Some of them have already been in operation long enough to prove themselves. Others are in process of trial. The social security program as a whole, housing, WPA and NYA have all been factors in meeting the needs of what my correspondent calls the "forgotten man."
To wipe out, however, all injustices and inequalities in our democracy, to make in a period of twelve years a decent corner of the world for everyone to live, in the face of world conditions such as have existed, is beyond the hope of even the most sanguine. We can only be grateful for the fact that more people are aware of the problems of forgotten children as well as forgotten men and women, and that we are working together to make our corner of the world a better place for all of us to live.