JULY 27, 1942
HYDE PARK, Sunday—It was fun being back on the Island of Campobello, even for a day-and-a-half. There is something bracing about the climate which gives me a lift. It was very pleasant to find Mrs. May Craig, one of the Washington correspondents of the Maine newspapers on the train, and have her company during the trip.
We visited the National Youth Administration Passamaquoddy project. I wanted to see what changes had come about there, and found, to my joy, many improvements. The project really provides some of the best machine-shop training in the East, and therefore, the pick of the young men in the Eastern states often come here for the last stages of their training. There is a farm here, too, and highly important is the self-government program, which prepares the boys for citizenship in any United States community.
I think I told you last year that on their own time, a group of boys constructed a glider, and were begging the Navy and the Army to come and look at it, because they were convinced that it might be of service in the war effort. Today the use of gliders is no longer a novelty, and it is interesting to note that the idea came so early to the young men on this NYA project.
These boys are now going to aircraft factories all over the country, and into active service as well. Jobs are waiting for those who finish their training, and employers seem extremely glad not to have to break in these new workers, which is necessary in the case of inexperienced newcomers. I think we can feel that the National Youth Administration is hastening the training of manpower for work which needs to be done, and thereby helps to shorten the war period.
As to our International Student Service Summer Institute, we were welcomed by Professor McIvor and Miss Molly Yard, who head the project. I was very happy to have the chance to meet these young people, who come from many parts of the United States and colleges from all over the country. They are an alert and questioning group, and I only hope that in the short time we spent together that I was able to contribute something to their summer's experience. Perhaps the greatest thing one can do for these young people today is to give them a realization of what a tremendous challenge living in this period is to all of us.
It should make us ask ourselves daily whether we are contributing all that we possibly can to the war effort. The war is our war, and many of the people we love must give their lives to this crusade, and there must be some contribution which we can make which taxes the best that is in us. That is our ever-present challenge.