MAY 18, 1942
MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Sunday—It is very good to be back in Miami Beach, for I have looked upon it in the past few winters as a very pleasant place to rest. This year I have taken no holiday during the winter. I can hardly call these three days a complete period of rest, but they certainly have been both interesting and enjoyable.
I have seen a number of people I was glad to see again. The technical school, which has just been established here, is one of the most interesting of the Army Air Force training centers. General Wooten was most kind and showed me all the various things they are doing. Colonel Horace Smith, who was a White House aide, did everything possible to make us comfortable and happy while we were here.
The representatives of the Farm Security Administration took us to see the various improvements which have been made in the camps for migratory workers since I was here last. I was glad to have another opportunity to see the change that has come about in the living conditions of these workers, whose efficiency is so important to our food production in this war period.
We leave tonight for Washington by plane. I know I shall feel I have hardly been away, for these days have been so full of interest. I have just been notified of a new idea which is being sponsored by the Victory Book Campaign, and which I hope will be very successful. A number of college presidents and a small student group have formed a committee to urge that, at commencements, students throughout the country bring a book with a personal autograph to some member of the armed forces. This ought to bring in a great many books and I hope will be a widely observed custom.
The Navy Relief Society is joining with the Army Emergency Relief Fund in undertaking more work than has ever been done before for the families of the men in service. Up to this time, the Navy has always taken care of its own people. For the first time, through a series of special events, they are asking the general public to join with them in raising their funds. I am sure there is going to be a very warm response.
From these funds the Navy will lend money to the families of men who find themselves temporarily in need of assistance. Where allotments, Social Security and Red Cross gifts do not completely take care of any home situation, the Navy Relief will be able to help the three branches of its service—the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. These are wartime appeals I am sure we shall be anxious to meet, so that no community will have difficulty in raising its quota.