JULY 2, 1942
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday morning, at Hyde Park, Mrs. Morgenthau, Mrs. Fleeson O'Donnell and I took the three little girls to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion. Since Mrs. Morgenthau and I had been through it a number of times, we wandered around and examined the trees outside, and for the first time I discovered a cucumber tree. To other people it may be familiar, but I had never come across one before. To me, the real beauty of this Vanderbilt place lies in its trees and the beautiful view up and down the Hudson River.
We then stopped to look at the murals painted by Mr. Olin Dows in the little Hyde Park post office. Each painting has local historical interest. I enjoyed reading the description which is posted in one of the glass cases at the end of the office. These paintings make this post office colorful and interesting and I think Mr. Dows must get pleasure viewing his work.
At 2:00 o'clock, Mrs. Morgenthau and I attended a meeting of the Emergency Home Demonstration Committee, sponsored by the Dutchess County Farm Bureau Association. In the evening we all went down to the opening of the Starlight Theatre in Poughkeepsie and saw Miss Gloria Swanson in a play called "Reflected Glory." However, all these leisurely country activities were exchanged this morning for New York City and Washington, and now we are on our way back to a more exacting existence.
I have just received the following postcard and I imagine there are a good many people who are troubled in the same way, so I quote it here. It comes from Schenectady, N. Y., and reads:
"Could you enlighten the people by radio or some magazine article? How can a baby be supported on $12 a month—which amounts to about 40 cents a day—including his meals, medicine, clothing and so forth. The second child receives $10 a month, 33 1/3 cents a day when he must drink two quarts of milk a day." (A rather excessive amount!)" How can you buy medicine, clothing for the other three cents per day?
"Also, I would like to know how a baby food which must be mixed with milk can be bought every five or six days at seventy-nine cents? Also, I would like to know if there is a nursery in New York State where you board a child for such a ridiculous amount per month. I am inducted in the Army."
Perhaps the answer is in the new $50 a month pay. Otherwise I can't answer it either, unless the mother goes to work and the WPA nurseries and nursery schools still function.