JUNE 1, 1944
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Since I quoted to you the nice letter from the British woman yesterday, I want to quote part of a letter from an American mother today. I am not giving you the name in this case, because I think it best that she remain anonymous.
Her son endured a very great disappointment. They are people of foreign descent, but true Americans. I never saw a disappointment, which must have been as hard to bear for the mother as it was for the son, taken in such a remarkable way.
Here is what she says: "I feel that the experience gained by this blow to his pride will be of great value to him in his future life. All of us must feel the despair of defeat at one time or another in order to broaden our thinking mechanism."
In those few words, she has stressed one of the great lessons of life. The knowledge of how to learn from experience, both pleasant and unpleasant, is probably one of the most difficult, but most valuable things to acquire in the course of the years.
I have an appeal from a woman who says something which I think should be brought to the attention of all of us. She thinks that we acknowledge the value of services rendered by women when they go into the military services, or the nursing services, or work in a factory or help to build ships or join a patriotic organization as volunteers, and forget to acknowledge the humdrum tasks of thousands of women daily. These women very often fill in on more or less dull jobs which seem to have no connection with war work, but without which no community could possibly go on in a normal way, even for a day. The women in shops, in the laundries, on the farms, above all in our schools, are doing a magnificent war job. We should never for a minute forget it.
Here is one of the little things which "seventy-five members of the Twin City Home Makers Section of the American Home Economics Association" are doing. They keep house, and so they are going on record in behalf of the extension of the Price Control Act. They say: "It is our unanimous opinion that it is the only plan presented today which will help to control inflation for the duration and after." These women are thinking citizens and are doing a war job by exercising their citizenship. They deserve our gratitude.
Yesterday I had a group of Democratic women lunch with me in the garden, very informally. In the evening I went for a short time to a dinner given to Dean Howard Thurman before his departure for San Francisco, where he has accepted a joint Negro and White pastorate of the Fellowship Church.