OCTOBER 3, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Last evening, the President and I, with our dinner guests, had the pleasure of seeing two new films. One is made from pictures taken during Mr. Julian Bryan's last trip to South America, and his voice gives the running comment.
Life is full of little coincidences, and I smiled when I thought that, only yesterday morning I had read a letter which a young friend wrote from Bogota. She told most interestingly of the country and the life there and casually mentioned that they had been spending some very pleasant hours with Mr. Julian Bryan. Here I was looking at the picture made on his last trip, while he was out making pictures for a future film!
The second picture shown, was done under the direction of Mr. Joseph Losey. It is a very charming picture of a nursery school in a rural area. Children are shown in all the activities that are possible in country surroundings. We see them at work and at play. The children range in age from two to seven years. No one could see this picture without finding some charming youngster to catch his attention.
It has no great significance, except that it brings the people who see it, a realization of the value of the nursery school. This educational experiment is fairly new in our country. In Europe it has long been known and available to rich and poor alike. I remember years ago hearing that children in the London slums, who had the opportunity of attending nursery schools, showed up better in physical examinations than the children of more privileged homes, who were brought up in the traditional English fashion.
I hope that wherever this picture is shown, here or in South America, it will make friends for us, because the audiences will like our children. I feel sure also, that Mr. Bryan's pictures shown throughout this country, will make us realize more keenly that, from Mexico to Cape Horn, we are truly "Americans all."
On the wall, in my office today, there hangs a map of the United States. On it, the regional directors' areas are marked off and coincide with the Army corps areas into which the country is divided. I am going to have a very interesting time putting little pins into that map as each one of our volunteer bureaus is established.
I returned to the White House from the office at 10:30 this morning to sit in on the WPA National Advisory Committee meeting on volunteer participation in the WPA program.