OCTOBER 6, 1944
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Most of my time yesterday was spent at the Conference on Rural Education at the White House.
The morning session ended with a speech by Dr. John W. Studebaker, commissioner, U. S. Office of Education, and the need for the Office of Education to be in close touch with the problems of rural education, particularly on the administrative side, seemed to me to emerge very clearly. The various states, as they contemplate re-organization, should be able to call upon the Office of Education for information and assistance which can only be given where there is centered a great body of research.
In the afternoon, Dr. Katharine F. Lenroot, chief of the Children's Bureau, showed how closely the Bureau is interested in all the problems of the rural child. Very informative addresses were also made by Dr. Cyril W. Grace, president of State Teachers College, Mayville, North Dakota, and by Miss Fannie W. Dunn, professor emeritus of Teachers College, Columbia University. The panel discussion, led by Dr. Carl C. Taylor, head of the Division of Farm Population and Rural Welfare, U. S. Department of Agriculture, also brought out many important and interesting sidelights.
After the president addressed the conference, everybody wandered through the rooms and came into the State Dining Room for a cup of tea.
My anxiety to miss nothing this morning brought me downstairs at 9 o'clock, only to find we had half an hour's grace and were not to assemble until 9:30.
This morning the five committees set up to consider ten specific phases of rural education made their reports. I found it a most interesting session; but as usual, I think the most interesting time is the discussion period. This was made one minute shorter by a request that I produce Fala. I also had to produce a piece of cake so Fala would do his tricks!
Last evening I went with my daughter to see the Theatre Guild production of "Embezzled Heaven," with Ethel Barrymore in the leading role, and Albert Basserman as the Pope. The play is based on Franz Werfel's novel and is written by L. Bush-Fekete and Mary Helen Fay. The story is slight, but the production is excellent; and, as so often happens, profound truths are casually expressed.