AUGUST 29, 1941
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I told you yesterday of the defense housing registration which is being done in Pensacola, Florida. I want to mention also a housing development for colored people which pleased me very much.
I was not able to go out and look at it very carefully, but it seemed to be well planned, and considerable, attractive landscaping had been done. One of the ministers had written to me about it, and told me that the people living there were making every effort to provide opportunities for civic education and recreation.
The only trouble is that with the influx of people who have come to Pensacola, there must be thousands of people who are forced to live in substandard dwellings. We are going to face a similar situation right here in this area before long, because our housing situation has been none too good.
With any influx of people, it will become a great deal worse. It would be one thing if it was just a question of living temporarily in poor surroundings and paying a low rental, but the rents skyrocket and people pay, for rooms which should be condemned, a price that should cover a decent apartment. This situation will be familiar to people all over the country and it seems to me that we should take hold and do something to improve our housing situation.
I was told an amusing story the other day of a sixteen-year-old boy who had been given some land on the side of a mountain out West. He had spent the summer building his own cabin, cut down the trees himself and did all the work. His mother remarked that it was wonderful what children could do if just allowed to go ahead on their own.
I am not sure, however, that all children or their elders would have the initiative or ability of this youngster. Unfortunately, circumstances limit some of us. We may not live on the side of a mountain, even if the prospect has charm.
We are having a meeting of the youth members of the National Advisory Committee of the National Youth Administration here today, and have enjoyed holding it in the open air and eating our lunch out of doors. A more perfect day could not be imagined.
Have you, by any chance, seen a picture book for adults called: "Little Nog: Glamor Chick No. 1," by Imogene Wolcott? The illustrations are done by Walter Early. To glance through this book will take you perhaps five minutes, but I think you will get several laughs out of it, and that is something which all of us enjoy these days.