DECEMBER 14, 1942
NEW YORK, Sunday—I was very happy in Boston on Friday to have an opportunity to talk to the girls at Radcliffe College in the afternoon. It was interesting to go from there to Bowdoin College on Saturday morning.
In a panel discussion at the fraternity house, one of the boys at Bowdoin asked me whether I found it any different talking to young men or young women at the present time, and whether I had any preference. I had never thought about it before, but I do not find that I like one any better than the other.
I am afraid I am just incurably fond of being with young people. Having had sons and a daughter and their friends at home for many years, I have come to consider them not only as my children as they grew up, but as my friends.
When I find myself with a big group of young people, the surroundings are very familiar and I feel very much at home. Now there is an element of seriousness in any meeting with young people, whether they are boys or girls. The boys are going out to fight, either on fields of battle or in various occupations, so that we may all live in a world where freedom exists and where we have an opportunity to build our civilization along the lines we think good.
The girls may not be so conscious of it as yet, but, nevertheless, they are going to do the same thing. It is urgent that the boys should know just what kind of a world they are fighting to preserve and build, and it is even more urgent that the boys and girls together should discuss and come to agreements on the basic things involved. While the boys are actively in the armed forces, the carrying on of the business of citizenship will very largely fall to the girls.
I like the chapel and the art museums and the general atmosphere of the campus at Bowdoin very much. I was glad I had an opportunity to give the debating cup to the winning high school team, which had considered, I believe, the weighty question of whether men and women should be drafted into service or not.
Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Sills, were more than kind and I spent a most delightful time with them.
I have made five speeches in the last three days, two for Russian War Relief, and the rest more or less tied up with what I saw in Great Britain. I am glad that tonight I shall be free to catch up on the mail, which, as usual, assumed appalling proportions in the few days I have been away.