JANUARY 24, 1945
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Yesterday was chiefly taken up with short visits from a variety of people. One lady came to ask me to come to a meeting in the Midwest, which unfortunately I could not arrange to do, and another one to tell me of recent activities of the group interested in Union Now.
At 5 o'clock my husband and I received some distinguished guests from overseas. Among other things, we were distressed to hear that the Nazis have imposed a particularly cruel regime on the Dutch people. The Dutch have some ships that can carry needed supplies to their country, and as soon as it is possible I hope the War Fund and other interested agencies will send whatever they can to the aid of these courageous Dutchmen.
Last evening my husband's aunt, Mrs. Price Collier, stayed with us, as did Mrs. Peter Cochrane, and after dinner we saw the movie called "Meet Me in St. Louis," which was charming and gave us all a pleasant evening. I found myself, however, hurriedly finishing up the mail after saying goodnight to everybody, and then Miss Thompson and I finally got off to the train about midnight.
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New York this morning looked gray and gloomy, its streets fairly filled with snow which is now pretty dirty. From the windows of our apartment, Washington Square still gives some illusion of cleanliness, and the bare trees are graceful against the sky.
This will be a busy day. First, at Judge Jonah J. Goldstein's invitation, I am going to sit in his court for an hour this morning to observe the new methods used in handling youthful offenders. Then I am going to a luncheon given by a group of organizations comprising the American Education Fellowship, the Child Study Association of America, the Editors of the Survey Publications, the National Child Labor Committee, the National Committee on Housing, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene, the National Council of Negro Women, the National Council on Parent Education and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The subject is the future of the American family, since all these groups are concerned about keeping the American family strong.
The changes have been so great in our way of living in the last few years that sometimes I wonder if people stop to think what they mean when they talk about the American way of life. It meant something quite different three generations ago than it does today. I think most of us, when we use the phrase, think of the way of life which Whittier described, and not at all of the way of life we face in 1945. It was largely a rural life, with very small towns and cities, when the phrase "the American way of life" first came into being. Certain fundamentals have not changed, but conditions under which we have to strive for those fundamental things would hardly be recognized by our ancestors.