FEBRUARY 4, 1944
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday afternoon I had a talk with Mrs. William Walrath of "The Cradle Society" in Evanston, Ill. Many people have obtained babies for adoption through this society, and Mrs. Walrath has done a great deal to improve our knowledge of the scientific care of children, particularly where freedom from infection is concerned. She is now very much interested in a new type of maternity hospital which will protect both mother and baby from infection during the first ten days after birth. She showed me the plans yesterday. It seems probable that hospitals of this kind would eliminate the dangers which threaten many babies placed in the usual hospital nursery, as well as hazards to the mother from infection brought in from the outside.
The wives of the Cabinet officers, Miss Perkins, and I were hosts at tea to the wives of the members of the House of Representatives yesterday. In the evening we had a strictly family party as some of the grandchildren are leaving today, and we all felt that they should have our main attention on their last evening.
This morning I am speaking on my trip to the Southwest Pacific at a meeting of the St. Thomas Parish Guild. Then I will take a train for Princeton, N.J., where I am to spend the evening and speak for The Round Table, a Princeton undergraduate organization. I will continue on to New York City, arriving there rather late tonight.
The Atlantic Monthly is offering a thousand dollar prize for the best article on "Freedom of the Press in the United States." The notice reads: "The competition is open to newspaper readers, who are the ultimate critics of the press and to all journalists of all ages and experience—editorial writers, sports writers, rewrite men and reporters."
They suggest that articles should not be less than 4,500 words or more than 7,000, and they must be received at the Atlantic Monthly's office not later than May 3, 1944. The judges are Edward Weeks, editor of The Atlantic Monthly; Gerald W. Johnson, historian, biographer and former editorial writer of the Baltimore Sun; Louis M. Lyons, curator, the Nieman Foundation, Harvard University, staff reporter of the Boston Globe.
This contest seems to me of great importance, for many of us have never really formulated what we mean by freedom of the press. Freedom may be used as a name to cover up a very real control, and I have thought for a long time that the clarification of what constitutes freedom of the press would be valuable, just as I think the clarification of what constitutes academic freedom in our schools and colleges would be a help to better understanding of education.