SEPTEMBER 4, 1942
WASHINGTON, Thursday —My mention of women aviators the other day has brought me a very charming letter about "America's Pioneer Aviatrix," Mrs. Kathrine Stinson Otero.
The letter was written by D. S. McMillan, Lieutenant Junior Grade, USNR, and I feel sure he will not mind my mentioning it. He tells me Mrs. Otero taught her famous Stinson brothers to fly, that she was the first woman to accomplish the loop the loop, and in the last war gave valuable service to the country in aviation training.
The courage which she showed in her flying, she has had to use in later life in a long fight against tuberculosis. For the past twenty years she has lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Lieut. McMillan spent a year in the same sanitarium and he pays her a tribute of which I think any one of us would be proud. "She constantly showed the same bravery of heart and courageous spirit that she displayed as a pilot, and this spirit served splendidly to help maintain the morale of the patients who knew her and knew how close to her heart was the aviation life, which adversity had forced her to give up forever."
Accepting the inevitable is forced upon us all. Doing it cheerfully and making the most of our lives with whatever we have at hand is a lesson which a great many of us will have to teach ourselves, or will have to help some dear one near us to learn in the course of the next few years. So the story of Kathrine Stinson Otero is one I am glad to remember and happy to pass on in the hope that it may help others.
It was a moving sight this morning to watch the President deliver his speech to youth, and to note the intense faces gathered about him. The members of the steering committee and the men and women in uniform of the various delegations had come as representatives of the whole International Student Assembly to meet the President and to listen to him in the small diplomatic reception room.
I always feel that it is a great responsibility and a tremendous challenge to talk to youth, because anything less than complete sincerity is detected and discounted. There was no question about the acceptance of the sincerity of the purpose as expressed in this speech. While it carried a pledge primarily to youth of our own country, it answered many questions as to the attitude of our leaders in this country which had been in the minds of young people of the other nations.