MARCH 3, 1945
WASHINGTON, Friday—Last evening Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt and I, after having a few people in for tea, went by train to Baltimore, to see one of the first performances of a new play by Rachel Crothers, called "Bill Comes Back." It is always interesting to see a play before it reaches its final form and then to see it afterwards. This play deals with a subject in which we are all interested—the returning serviceman—and may come to New York City in the course of the next few weeks.
John Golden came back to the White House with us. The train coming back was late, and so we caught the train ahead of the one we expected to take. Instead of being weary, we found ourselves still talking for some time after we reached home.
The paper said that March had come in like a lamb, since the temperature in Washington went as high as 50 yesterday! I think we have already begun to have our April showers, because it is raining again. But spring is in the air, and that must be an encouragement even in parts of the country where snow still lies pretty heavily on the ground.
The National Conference of Christians and Jews, with offices at 203 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, has just sent me its "Reading For Democracy, III." I like the opening paragraph, which sets out the reasons for publishing these lists of books: "Democracy is a venture of faith in the ability of people to guide their own destinies. The faith is justified when the people consider carefully where they are going, the problems with which they are faced, and seek a way of working together toward common goals. The books here presented are discussions bearing on these great problems of democracy. Their authors are our leaders in pointing out paths we may choose to travel."
Though it was not published soon enough to be included in this list, I am quite sure that the book which was announced yesterday for joint publication by Simon and Schuster and Reynal and Hitchcock, "Sixty Million Jobs," by Henry Wallace, should be read by all of us. Mr. Wallace was confirmed as Secretary of Commerce yesterday by the Senate, and so his views as set forth in his book are important to the people of this country.
I have an amusing letter from someone taking me to task for saying that the education of returning veterans must be considered on a grade and high school level as well as on the college level. My correspondent seems to think that by choice I am insisting that those who wish to go through college shall be kept down! The point is that over 60 percent of the men in the services have not finished grade school or high school, and therefore before they have any other opportunity they will have to have this type of school training.