JULY 2, 1943
NEW YORK, Thursday—My day yesterday was pretty well filled with appointments and a number of people came to lunch and to dinner. After dinner we saw a film, "World of Plenty" sent over by the British Information Service and in addition, a short film of a trip from Alaska to the States made some time ago by "Slim" Williams and his dog team.
You may have seen "Slim" Williams at the Chicago Fair after he made this trip. He still feels that the route he followed is a better winter and summer road than the one picked out by the Army Engineers, but he is very proud of the fact that a road has been built. He has a firm belief that someday Alaska will mean a great deal to the United States.
This morning I came back to New York City to see Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and to go on to Hyde Park where I am expecting several guests for the weekend at my cottage.
Last Sunday in an Ohio village, a "Little Peace Conference" was held. Yellow Springs, Ohio, decided that if peace was to come in the future, it would have to begin in small communities now. People would have to know what kind of a town they wanted, what kind of improvements they thought were necessary and how to bring these improvements about in the interest of social betterment. Only by doing this could they be brought to understand what world conditions we were working for. So they are making their experiment and I hope that the idea will spread to other communities.
I was very much distressed to read in the paper the other day that Greenwich House Settlement, where Mrs. Mary Simkhovitch has carried on for such a long while her remarkable neighborhood activities, is in really serious financial difficulties. Mrs. Simkhovitch writes me now that a local citizens committee is being formed which will tackle the financial problem. She thinks this is a good thing. The community should learn that the existence of Greenwich House depends on its worth to the community in dollars and cents as well as in human interest. These neighbors will have to appeal for outside help, and many of the people who have been interested in Greenwich House in the past will want to continue their contributions, I hope. There is much artistic talent in that neighborhood and I have heard of many a young musician who got his first start on the Greenwich House platform. Their pottery school has been outstanding and I am sure that the whole neighborhood would suffer if Greenwich House had to go out of existence. Mrs. Simkhovitch herself and her very brilliant husband are no mean assets to any neighborhood.