FEBRUARY 9, 1942
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Our day in Arthurdale, W. Va., on Friday was really very satisfactory. Our object was to be there for the giving of contracts to the people who qualified to purchase their houses and land.
We arrived in time for lunch and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who was there all morning, had time to go over to Scott's Run to see the community house there. She was delighted to find that the young couple directing the work now have a very busy little lending library, a well furnished kitchen used by all groups, and a charming apartment which serves as a model for all the people up and down the Run. They have worked so hard and been so earnest in their desire to help in that region, I am delighted to have this good report on what they are doing.
In the afternoon, we visited the NYA project, where boys are studying radio work, welding, sheetmetal work and woodworking. We saw their infirmary and the community building, which they have done over for their own use as well as that of the community. The boys come from all parts of West Virginia and are a fine group of youngsters.
Some of them have already gone to work in one of the factories at Scott's Run which makes radio cabinets. It seems to be flourishing and Mr. Kahn is proud of his achievements.
The inn is very attractive and I always enjoy my stay there. We had a very good dinner after the advisory committee meeting in the late afternoon, and then went over to the ceremonies. Congressman Jennings Randolph, Mr. Clarence Pickett and I, who have all been interested in the project since the beginning, said a few words of congratulation before handing out the contracts with our good wishes to the couples who were able to come up and get them. Some men are now working on the night shift and could not be there.
In one case, the son in the family had to come for the contract, because his mother was in the hospital and his father was at work. War work has brought larger incomes to many people on the project, but last year their gardens were better than ever before and we hope they will continue to take an interest in improving their land.
We took the night train back to Washington. Yesterday I shook hands with a large group of high school students before going to the Office of Civilian Defense for the rest of the morning. At lunch, I had a number of young newsboys, who had come to Washington to receive their awards from the Treasury Department, for having sold a large number of Defense Saving Stamps.