APRIL 20, 1942
NEW YORK, Sunday—After lunch on Friday, I flew up with Secretary Morgenthau and dined with the Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau at their home in Beacon. Then I spent the night at Hyde Park. So many things were coming to life—lilies of the valley, bulbs of various kinds and lilac bushes. I longed to stay and watch them grow but that was not possible, so Saturday morning bright and early I left by train for New York City.
There were a great many girls from the Bennett Junior College on the train. Three of them came to tell me that they were freshmen, but had taken special courses during the year which they thought would help them during the summer to do some useful work. On every side they were meeting with discouragement.
People told them that unless they had a degree, they would not be acceptable, for instance, in a nursery school, or in a day nursery, or in some recreation program for young children. This seems to me rather foolish, for the best training in the world is practical experience. Every defense community must be conscious of the fact that it is going to find it imperative to start both nursery schools, day nurseries, and recreation projects for children.
Since more women will be taken into industry, it will mean that more children must be taken care of by someone in the community during the working hours. No woman will do a good day's work if she thinks of her child as crying at home.
So, in the interests of production alone, it is war work to take good care of the children of defense workers. We can not have enough trained people in the country to do all that is needed, and girls who want to volunteer after one year in college, should certainly find some opportunity open to them.
At noon in New York City, I visited the Knoedler Galleries to see a beautiful collection of Flemish primitive paintings, which is being shown for the benefit of the Belgian Relief. It is well worth seeing. Many of the paintings come from the gallery in Brussels. They were sent over here as a travelling exposition in 1938 and we are fortunate to have this opportunity of seeing them, as well as to help the Belgian boys who are still fighting with the Allies. One young navy boy who was there yesterday, had been twice torpedoed and rescued.
Then I visited the Naval Hospital because, at last, the doctors have discovered what has been keeping Franklin, Jr., from regaining his strength. He is back there this time to stay until he is really well.