JULY 3, 1944
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., Sunday—I want to mention a special election issue which I received in June from the New York League of Women Voters. It is their "Monthly News" sheet, and it gives a great deal of information which is valuable to the people of New York State in an election year. I imagine that nationally, the league is giving similar information to its members in every state.
With my little monthly news came a single sheet in which the essentials for the political party platforms on foreign policy were printed, and while these are very general, they embody the minimum of what we should expect in our foreign policy planks. Finally, a sheet was enclosed with cartoons depicting the importance of taking part in the nominating primaries, because so often we find ourselves faced with the fact that we do not like the nominees of either party. But because we have taken no interest before election day, we decide that bad as the choice may be, we will vote with our traditional party. That seems to me to be the best way of getting an unrepresentative form of government.
Next, I want to speak of something which has been done in Kansas. They have made a survey recently of their areas where libraries are lacking, and then they sent a travelling book exhibit around. In one county they circulated books to the various rural schools for a long time, but this travelling exhibit created excitement everywhere in cities and rural areas.
This book exhibit is designed to arouse the interest of children in reading, to introduce them to "good books, new books, recent books." As a result, the children expressed the wish that some of these books could be either in their homes, or at least in the public library. They are preaching more libraries and more books in Kansas, but they are also trying to stimulate the young people to enjoy reading. There never was a time when there were more interesting and attractive books for young people, so there is no excuse if we fail to awaken in our children a real desire to learn through reading.
I wonder how many of you who have children also know about the William T. Hornaday Foundation. Dr. Hornaday always wanted to "open wide to youth all gateways to nature," so in his memory, this foundation is trying to establish children's museums both in crowded urban areas and in rural areas. I have seen how much the children enjoy these museums planned for their benefit, and I am sure that this is one of the ways in which we can promote a development of a very healthy interest in nature.