MARCH 5, 1946
NEW YORK, Monday—Suddenly I seem to be having an orgy of theaters! The other evening, Miss Thompson and I went to see "Born Yesterday" with my youngest son, John, who is here from California. We did not regret having given up an evening of work for an evening of entertainment, because "Born Yesterday," a new comedy by Garson Kanin, is certainly one of the most amusing plays I have seen for a long time. It is well acted too. It teaches a lesson, but the lesson is a sugarcoated one which you swallow with loud chuckles.
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One of the things that I think we should help to promote throughout our country is better education in farm living, so I was interested to receive a notice of the efforts being made to raise a fund to improve the National Farm School, which is a junior college located in Bucks County, near Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
This school was fifty years old in 1944. Leo Tolstoy inspired the young Jewish Rabbi Krauskopf who founded it in this country. But it was always "for Jewish lads and other lads". Thus, it not only gives practical and scientific education in agriculture, but it has taught a great lesson in tolerance and the ability to get along with others regardless of creed, nationality or racial origin.
The graduates of this school are probably the ones today who will respond to the appeal of the Government for increased efforts to help the people of the world and save them from starvation. These graduates probably all know what being hungry means. At some time in their lives, they have probably seen children who were hungry. This will help them to picture what our help can mean throughout the world.
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Judging by some of the letters which come to me, I think many of us have forgotten that our ancestors came here and made this a land of refuge, and that some of our best citizens have been the sons and daughters of refugees! I am told there is a bill in Congress which proposes to cut our immigration quotas in half. I understand that it is supported by many people on the ground that it would help to prevent unemployment in this country.
Our immigration quotas are small now but, to many people, being included in the quota means the difference between life and death, between hope and despair. If we would give more thought to getting into full production and producing the goods which the world needs, so that other nations could be our customers five years from now, I think we could use the new labor. And as a result of the new purchasing power which that labor would create, I think we would find ourselves better off.
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I found myself, the other evening, sitting down to reread in a book my own answers to questions which have appeared in a national magazine. To my surprise, the answers seemed quite new and almost as though some one else had written them! Even though the book is largely only a reprinting of what has already appeared in a magazine, still there is an excitement I never quite get over in seeing my name on the jacket of a new publication.