FEBRUARY 18, 1944
NEW YORK, Thursday—It is gratifying to know how well the Fourth War Loan Drive went over, showing that the people of this country have complete faith in their government and in themselves. They are sure they will win the war and they are sure that when the war is won, they will be able to find the answers to perplexing economic and political questions. This assurance is deep in the hearts of young and old alike. As an illustration, I was told a charming story about a gentleman who is 101 years old, Alfred Glasstall of New York City, who pledged himself to sell a thousand dollars worth of bonds for every year of his life and succeeded.
Yesterday I went to the meeting and the luncheon given for the United Jewish Appeal. A wonderful report was made on the need for the work of these organizations to cooperate with the UNRRA. Mr. Quentin Reynolds made the interesting speech of the meeting. He made it a point to emphasize for all of us the importance of our part as civilians in the winning of the war, and the fact that the war is not yet won, and that there is no place in this country for complacency.
By making the simple statement that it was not yet decided who would win the war, he shocked us to attention. Of course there is no sure victory until our enemies surrender, but I know Mr. Reynolds is as sure of the eventual outcome of the war as I am, and as is every other citizen of the United States. What he wanted to get across, to all of us is something which we are not so ready to accept, namely, that the success and speed of our victory depend on our awareness and our willingness to shoulder responsibility for every move at home, regardless of what it may cost us at the present time in discomfort and deprivation.
In the afternoon Mr. James Blauvelt of Doubleday, Doran and Company, brought me a most interesting new publication which they are getting out on American history. It is in the form of a tabloid newspaper and can be used in schools, but I think it will be extremely valuable in adult education classes. He also showed me the titles of the books which they are publishing in their "New Home Library." These books are sold through the Woolworth stores and certainly should prove an incentive to building a library among those who find the average cost of books prohibitive.
In the evening I went over to a meeting held by the Brooklyn Inter-Racial Assembly. The report read of their accomplishments is the kind of thing you wish could be read at every meeting of this type throughout the country. A new health center will soon be opened in that district, a well-baby clinic will be available and a number of other improvements are actually going to be transferred from paper plans to realities.