SEPTEMBER 6, 1941
NEW YORK, Friday—One never realizes beforehand what a busy day really means! My plane was late in leaving Washington yesterday morning for Pittsburgh, Pa., so I was a little late all through the day. It made me feel like a small dog chasing his tail.
It was a very pleasant day, however, and I particularly enjoyed my visit to the NYA resident center. Two months ago, when I first promised to go there, they told me that the buildings did not look as though they would ever be finished. The boys were informed of my visit, and volunteered to give extra time in order to show me more when I arrived. They did extraordinarily well. The shops were ready and they were busily at work in them, and they also showed me a very complete dormitory and mess hall.
Their only lack is a recreation building. Each dormitory has some small space, which can be used by a very few boys at a time for writing letters or a game of table tennis. There is not space enough for indoor recreation as yet.
The chief joy of this resident center is its location on top of one of the high hills with a beautiful view in every direction. I asked one of the boys working in the radio section if he was enjoying this opportunity and his answer was: "Indeed I am, and I gained twelve pounds, if that's any sign of progress."
Just as were leaving, the blackest clouds gathered and before we reached the housing project, it was raining in torrents. The ceremony there was spoiled by the rain, but some of us gathered in the high school auditorium and I was able to give the keys of their houses to a number of people. Most of them are young and are starting out in these new homes, which are among the first to be completed in the defense housing program around Pittsburgh. The mills are expanding and they will be able to destroy some of their old slums, so a few people at least, will have an opportunity to live under better conditions.
We were so late in reaching the reception held by the Democratic women, that I just went up on the platform and made a little speech. Finally, I returned to my hotel with an hour to dress and eat dinner before the evening speech and forum, which was being held under the auspices of the Public Affairs Committee, a nonpartisan organization interested in education for citizenship.
At 11:37 we reached the airport, only to find that the plane to New York City was cancelled because of bad weather. This meant a dash back to the city to the station and a train trip, which landed me in New York City this morning rather later than I had intended starting my day.