AUGUST 25, 1944
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I have a communication from an Oklahoma organization which is very anxious to find a way of stimulating our population to greater concern and more participation in the simple process of voting. Here is a part of their letter which may be of interest to all of my readers:
"The result of a primary election in a southwestern state, in which two nominees—Democrat and Republican—were chosen for the U.S. Senate, showed a striking lack of interest. This Senatorial contest highlighted political activities throughout a 60-day campaign, there being 19 candidates, men and women, seeking nomination. The ballot booths were attended by barely 17 percent of the qualified electors of the state; the two Senatorial nominees received jointly only 38 percent of the total vote cast, and not more then 6½ percent of the total qualified electors of the state. More than 1,300,000 electors shirked the duty of participation in choosing two nominees, one of whom will serve in the Senate of the 79th, 80th and 81st Congresses."
If this is typical of what happens in this year, when certainly every young person should at least be concious that great decisions are being made, it seems to me regrettable. It shows clearly how much work needs to be done, and how important it is for the citizens of our country to know that there is something worth voting for in November of every year. Even when there are no national questions before us, there are state and local interests which concern us greatly.
I have just been reading a report of the activities of the Buffalo, N.Y. Red Cross chapters, and it seems to me that they have done a very good job. Of course, if one had the chance to see the reports of every chapter throughout the country, I think we would be moved to admiration. It is impossible for me to read them all, however, so I am glad to have had the opportunity to see what these groups in Buffalo have done. In expressing my congratulations to them, I would like to include all the other faithful workers.
As I went through our woods this morning, I was sadly conscious of the fact that the first autumn colors are beginning to show in the trees. Three of the grandchildren have left me to join their parents, and are getting ready for school. I still have a few young things with me, but I am afraid before long the summer days will come to an end and all of us will feel that we have to return to our routine occupations. It has been a great satisfaction to me to find that, in spite of the heat, the children here have grown brown and strong this summer. One of the things I have enjoyed the most has been reading aloud to them in their rest periods. Today we picked out "Puck of the Pook's Hill," one of my old Kipling favorites, and I found that the youngsters enjoyed it very much.