MAY 1, 1948
HYDE PARK, Friday—I came back to Hyde Park last night. My two little dogs were awaiting me. They knew, the minute they were brought to my house from my superintendent's house, that something was going to happen. I was told that they stayed gazing out the window toward the road or kept their noses glued to the front door, so they would not miss anything. It certainly is wonderful to come back and find such a warm welcome from one's little four-footed friends.
I have taken them for a walk in the woods, and spring is really here. The violets and wind flowers, and even my red trilliums along the brook, are all out. I looked anxiously for a white trillium which a friend sent me to plant last year, but I am afraid it died in the winter for I cannot find it anywhere.
I think the spring is rather late and I couldn't be more grateful, for while some of my tulips are over, my lilacs are just budding and the dogwood is barely beginning to come out. By next week it will probably be a white glory through the woods, and I am so glad not to have missed it.
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It seems to me entirely fitting that Oscar Ewing, head of the Federal Security Agency, should have called a national health assembly to meet this weekend from May 1 to 4. I imagine he chose these dates with intention, for the 1st of May is Child Health Day, and this should help to draw the attention of the assembly not only to the President's proclamation but also to the importance of child health in the total health program of our country.
Unfortunately, I cannot be in Washington for this meeting—which I regret, because I would like to hear Dr. G. B. Chisholm speak. He is executive secretary of the interim commission of the World Health Organization. A psychiatrist of worldwide distinction, he has chosen "A New Look at Child Health" as the subject of his speech. The needs of mother and baby and young child, from the positive mental health point of view, will be stressed, I am sure, since I conclude that he feels this approach is necessary for future health and world peace.
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My old friend, Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, is to read the President's Child Health Day proclamation on the same occasion. I am happy that positive goals are set by the proclamation—goals which we should be able to meet. Every child entering school for the first time this year should have a thorough medical and dental examination, followed by treatment so that, by the close of the first school year, all defects which can be corrected will have been taken care of.
All this should emphasize the need for this country to join the World Health Organization. Mrs. Oswald B. Lord, chairman of the U.S. committee of the International Children's Emergency Fund, is to speak on the subject, "Child Health Is the People's Business." It interests us vitally how the rest of the world's children fare in health, since our children and these children together must make the world of the future.