JUNE 25, 1942
NEW YORK, Wednesday—It was a great pleasure yesterday afternoon to have an opportunity to see Senora Calderon Guardia, the wife of the President of Costa Rica. She came here because of ill health, but after spending some time in Baltimore, Md., under the care of doctors, looks as well as when I last saw her.
Senora Calderon Guardia is a charming person and most anxious to find out where the women of Costa Rica could be most useful in alleviating some of the suffering which has spread throughout the world. She said they were already working on various Red Cross activities, and she was going over to find out what more they could do.
I asked her whether they had any of the nutrition problems through which we could educate people as to what native foods would provide them with a balanced diet. I was greatly interested to find that so much of their food has come from the United States, and since shipping is at present a difficult problem, they are being thrown back on their own willingness to produce certain foodstuffs.
It is natural that women should have a special interest in these problems, for feeding the family from the earliest days, has been one of our jobs.
I was astonished this morning to see in the paper that a committee which Dr. Frank Kingdon heads, the Union for Democratic Action, has been reported by the Dies Committee as a subversive group, attacking the legislative branch of our government with the object of destroying it.
This seems to me a very serious and extraordinary accusation, and I hope it will lead to a very careful investigation. In the first place, there are many people on this committee who will be surprised to find themselves classed as engaging in subversive activities and who will feel they have a right to a thorough investigation. In the second place, I question whether a committee composed of so many people of good reputation should be thus accused without first being granted a hearing, and it might be well to settle this once and for all.
Last evening, a small group of people sat on the South Porch of the White House and discussed until fairly late in the evening, certain educational possibilities. Dr. Alvin Johnson of the New School for Social Research, is one of those creative people who is constantly looking into the future to discover needs that may arise. There never was a time when the challenge to education was greater in every field. I think the difficulty is going to be in finding leaders who are able to think out these problems.
I took the night train to New York City, where I have a number of engagements during the day.