AUGUST 22, 1942
WASHINGTON, Friday—Some of our guests at Hyde Park spent a good part of the afternoon yesterday in the President's library, while I went through boxes, trunks and cedar chests at the big house. I found some old paisley shawls which, I am sure, have been stored away for several generations. One quilted petticoat must have been worn in my great-grandmother's generation.
It seemed impossible that anyone could have worn anything so voluminous and still be able to walk. It is beautifully quilted and pale pink. The only thing I can think of doing with it is to put it on exhibition in the library. I am sure that many young women, looking at it, will say "Thank Heaven" I do not have to wear those now.
I did a limited amount of work yesterday on mail and reading material, which has accumulated to a horrible extent. One letter interested me very much. Five girls in Kansas City, MO., received training in radio work in a National Youth Administration resident project. They obtained jobs, but at very moderate salaries to start, and so they put into practice their teaching in cooperative living and took an apartment together. In a letter to the director of NYA in Kansas, they tell their own story better than I could:
"Dear Miss Laughlin,
We are the radio girls writing back to let you know how we are liking our jobs and how we are getting along. We five girls are living together and getting along just fine. Our apartment is on the third floor and we have a big living room, a small kitchen and dinette, bedroom, bathroom, and two closets. The in-a-door bed is in the living room. We are very comfortably settled and like it swell. ...We take turns doing the cooking, two for two weeks, and two for the next two weeks. The odd one does the odd jobs and such.
"We work from 8:10 to 12, and from 1 till 5, and off at 1 on Saturday. They are quite pleasant hours to work. On the average we are making $50 a month and for the five of us it doesn't cost us very much for rent or groceries and we are able to save quite a bit. We get paid every other Tuesday and we celebrate by eating out that night. ...
" We certainly wish to thank you Miss Laughlin, for all you did for us while we were on the NYA. It certainly is a wonderful program and working and living in the dormitory there in Topeka was certainly a wonderful help to us all. The spirit of cooperation and working together is largely responsible for the way we are getting along so well together up here. Anyway, we are grateful to you and all the NYA there in Topeka for what you have done for us.
"We still remain five of the radio girls,