JANUARY 24, 1944
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday morning I had an opportunity to talk for a little while with members of the staff of the National Education Association of the United States. They are deeply interested, as I am, in the wiping out of illiteracy, and procuring better educational opportunities for all of our young people.
I was glad to find that they feel as I do that every teacher in every community should be considered by that community as one of its most responsible citizens. To her we are entrusting the most important job of the community—the education of youth in a democracy. Since we decided long ago that democracy could not exist without education, we can easily see why good teachers are essential to our development.
The thoughtful men and women with whom I talked feel as I do that since education can only give people tools, and we all continue our real education throughout our lives, much responsibility has to be undertaken by our teachers in the field of adult education. The school houses of a community are not only for the use of the children and the educators. They should be the centers from which radiate the ideas which motivate the community.
Friday afternoon the President and I received the members of the National Democratic Committee. In the evening, just the family and one or two friends were at dinner, so I spent some hours over the mail.
I found among other things, a delightful cook book, edited by British and American women in Venezuela for the benefit of British war charities. On one page are the Spanish recipes and on the opposite page they are translated into English. I think this is going to be a help to my halting Spanish! The covers, both front and back, display the vegetables and fruits of Venezuela with their names in Spanish and in English. Some of them are intriguing. For instance, "cabella de angel" is an intriguing name to be attached to a melon. I shall be curious to eat this fruit called "angel hair" if I ever visit Venezuela.
Yesterday the ambassador of Colombia, Senor Dr. Gabriel Turbay, came to pay his respects, and a succession of people came to tea. Among them were five young Marine Corps girls who come from distant parts of the country. They had gathered up enough courage to write and say they could not bear to go home without having had a chance to see the White House since they may never travel this far again.
In the evening I attended the Democratic National Committee's Jackson Day Dinner at which the Vice President, the Honorable Samuel Rayburn, the Speaker of the House, and Mr. Quentin Reynolds made most interesting and moving speeches. Having Mr. Reynolds as a speaker was a departure from the purely political aspect usual on this occasion, and I think it was very appropriate in this war year.