JULY 6, 1942
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Yesterday was hardly a holiday in the White House, or anywhere else in the country I imagine. I spent the morning visiting low cost housing projects in and around Washington. Some of the people who were moved, because of the fact that the Navy Yard had to be enlarged, are in a trailer camp nearby.
On the whole, the arrangements are good. I was surprised at how wonderfully the women manage in such small quarters. In one trailer three grown people and three children were housed, and yet everything was as clean and neat as possible. The camp is divided into two units. Each has a utility building where laundry can be done, and showers and sanitary toilets.
I did not see any of the new demountable houses which are to house so many defense workers. Property owners have in many cases objected strongly to having these houses go up in their neighborhood for fear of lowering the values. But since these houses are demountable and are to be sold at the end of the emergency and taken somewhere else, I do not feel the danger is very great.
The other sites I visited are all under the direction of the Alley Dwelling Authority. I came away with a great sense of pride in the effort which people make to improve their living conditions just as soon as they have anything with which to work.
I had the pleasure last night of having Dr. Davenport's group of government interns come to the White House for a movie. It was nice to see three of the young people who had been at the International Student Service last summer in the group. They are now having their preliminary orientation courses and then it will be decided where they will work for the rest of the year. The record of these young people as administrators in various government activities is quite remarkable.
The First Congregational Church in Berkeley, Cal., has taken a great interest in the American-born Japanese who have had to move further inland. The following story was sent me by them:
"Arriving in Tanforan with only the clothes he wore, Bill Kockiyama, 21, last week received a $2000 inheritance from a former stage and screen actress, for whom his father had worked for the past 20 years. Kockiyama came from New York City in 1940 to attend the University of California. At Tanforan he is a mess hall worker. 'After deducting income taxes I purchased $1900 in war bonds in order to do my part in the war effort,' Kockiyama stated. Eventually he hopes to use the money invested to continue his education."
This should remind us that among the group are really good, loyal Americans and we must build up their loyalty and not tear it down.