SEPTEMBER 21, 1945
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I have just read in manuscript the book called "Joe Louis, American," by Margery Miller, published by Current Books, Inc. If I had been told beforehand that I would read until 2 a.m. in order to finish a book which in large part deals with boxing matches, I would have smiled and said the person knew very little about my tastes and interests. I have never been willing to go to a boxing match, except for the amateur type that youngsters put on; and once, many years ago, I watched the sailors on board a ship in bouts which they had put on for the distinguished travelers aboard. I did that only because I was told it would be a great disappointment if I did not attend!
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This book, therefore, will not be of interest to boxing fans alone! Neither will it interest only the Negro people, though they will have a justifiable pride in the story of a man's rise from a cotton field farm in the South to fame and respect throughout the sports world. As I read, I realized that this was not the record simply of the boy who had reached the top in his particular sport. It was also the record of a man who, through his work in sports, wanted to win for his people goodwill among the people of other races and religions with whom his people had to live.
The story is simply told, without embellishments, but I believe many people who would not think of reading about Joe Louis, the champion, will be interested to read about Joe Louis, the man and the citizen.
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This week is National Dog Week, and I want to say a word in its interest. Ever since I was a little girl I have owned dogs and, at various times in my life, I have depended on them much. Fala is today a companion, a source of interest and amusement to me. I know that it is important for all dogs, large and small, to be well trained and to have proper care. Dogs who are not well will be bad-tempered. They need the proper kind of food, in proper quantity and at regular times. They need exercise and, if they are not going to be a nuisance, they need good training.
A well-disciplined master will always have a well-disciplined dog. It requires patience to train dogs, just as it does to train a child, but in both cases the results will amply repay the time spent. We have come to look with pride and interest on the Seeing-eye dogs, who do so much for their blind owners. But they could do very little without their training, and their training is given by people who have patience and understanding and really care about both people and dogs. No one should own a dog who is not prepared really to love him. But if a dog is loved and well cared for and well trained, he will repay his family with the kind of devotion which is rare in any human relationship.