SEPTEMBER 4, 1941
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Last night we saw a very beautiful movie, a documentary film, "The Forgotten Village," written by John Steinbeck, with music by Hans Eisler. It is the story of a boy in a small village in Mexico and shows the life of the village, the superstitions which still exist, and the bad sanitation. It portrays the gathering of the family round the fire in the evening, the birth of a new baby, the selling of the corn which is the basis of life, a festival and a death in the family.
Finally, the young Mexican leaves his village, because the local schoolmaster has brought knowledge and inspiration to such of the youth of the community who are open to new ideas. The boy will return trained to lead his people to a better life.
I was tremendously interested in the medical trucks which go over almost impassable roads to serve the people in these remote villages. That rural medical service seems to me of great importance. Mexico is doing something which we could well study, for we need to improve our own services in many ways.
Some of the young people of the International Student Service, who were with us in Campobello last summer, were here last night. Since two of them came from Seattle, Wash., they brought another Seattle friend, so I am beginning to gather up quite a number of young acquaintances whom I shall want to see when I visit my daughter this month.
Some of these young people are starting to hitchhike back to college and look upon it as a real adventure. They have, of course, definite destinations, but hitchhiking gives them a chance to see unexpected places and make new acquaintances. Instead of being merely a journey, it is an exciting and unpredictable experience.
This morning I had a press conference and several appointments before a group of young friends came to meet my daughters-in-law, Mrs. James Roosevelt and Mrs. Elliott Roosevelt, at lunch.
Dean William Fletcher Russell, of Teachers College, Columbia University, is holding a meeting here in the White House this afternoon to discuss a program of education for the great group of aliens who are to become citizens of our country during the next few years. It is an important undertaking and will mean a great deal in improving the quality of citizenship they are able to bring to their new home.
I hope a great many women throughout the country will be celebrating Jane Addams' birthday on September sixth. Miss Addams served humanity so well she should never be forgotten. Anyone who knew her, will remember the inspiration of her presence, but her spirit went far beyond the individuals who knew her. It affected the thinking and living of people all over the world.