NOVEMBER 19, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon, I went to the NYA resident center in Greenville, N. C., and was tremendously proud of what these North Carolina boys had achieved, for they built all of their own buildings! They have some excellent shops in wood-working, sheet metal work, radio, photography, etc.
Much of their work is, of course, done for the Army, because the training in every NYA resident project is with a view of making these young men valuable in defense industries as quickly as possible. The health program is stressed in North Carolina, so they have an adequate small clinic building with a few hospital beds. Every boy is given a complete physical examination and I was appalled to hear that somewhere around 70 percent were found to be undernourished.
The little WPA art exhibit in the library was very charming. Some of the craftwork done in the industrial school and by the NYA girls' project is very good.
I hope this afternoon to get a glimpse of the WPA art exhibit here. This year, Art Week promises to be a greater success even than last year. I notice that, in New York City, they have already sold several pictures, different pieces of sculpture and various things from the crafts projects.
Mr. Thomas J. Watson, a well known businessman who has taken over the chairmanship this year, has been able to get the active cooperation of businessmen on local committees throughout the country. They have been able to stress the need of the artist to sell his wares, which is, after all, something every citizen must recognize. If artists are to contribute to the pleasure of our daily lives, they must also make a living.
After my lecture last night, in Greenville, we returned home, for, unfortunately, the President of the University of Alabama, where I was to lecture tonight, was taken seriously ill, and they asked me if I would cancel the lecture. To find myself at home with two unexpected days of leisure is something really to rejoice over, though I am sorry the cause had to be somebody's illness.
I took life very easily this morning and did a number of things around the house before I went to the Office of Civilian Defense at 11:00 o'clock. I thought there would be nothing to do at the office, but I soon found myself seeing one person after another as fast as I could see them. I came home to lunch with Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, who was in town. I am going back to the office for a few more appointments this afternoon.