MAY 14, 1945
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Every day when I go over and look at my husband's grave, I find that another official of a foreign state has sent either earth to be strewn over it, or flowers. It will be some months before the stone for which my husband himself left specifications can be put in place, but the grave will always look blooming and alive, which is what my husband liked. When he looked at a desert, he always said that he could recognize the beauty, but he much preferred green trees and blooming flowers to a landscape that looked as though the business of living had passed it by.
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Yesterday Secretary and Mrs. Ickes came up to look over the big house and the grounds which the government will soon take over. As we went from room to room, I told the Secretary about the various things of interest, and he suddenly said: "You will have to write the markers for everything in this house." I realize that I will have to do this, and I will also have to tell the guides the stories about the house. Otherwise, the visitors will miss a great deal that is of real significance—things which add to the interest of any historical house.
Jonathan Daniels was at Poughkeepsie yesterday for a Vassar College meeting, and afterward came to visit us. It was a great pleasure to see him.
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I have been getting a good many letters of late about the Equal Rights amendment, which has been reported out favorably to the House by the House Judiciary Committee. Some of the women who write me seem to think that if this amendment is passed there will be no further possibility of discrimination against women. They feel that the time has come to declare that women shall be treated in all things on an equal basis with men. I hardly think it is necessary to declare this, since as a theory it is fairly well accepted today by both men and women. But in practice it is not accepted, and I doubt very much whether it ever will be.
Other women of my acquaintance are writing me in great anxiety, for they are afraid that the dangers of the amendment are not being properly considered. The majority of these women are employed in the industrial field. Their fear is that labor standards safeguarded in the past by legislation will be wrecked, and that the amendment will curtail and impair for all time the powers of both State and Federal government to enact any legislation that may be necessary and desirable to protect the health and safety of women in industry.
I do not know which group is right, but I feel that if we work to remove from our statute books those laws which discriminate against women today, we might accomplish more and do it in a shorter time than will be possible through the passage of this amendment.