DECEMBER 31, 1948
NEW YORK, Thursday—As a result of the recent elections, I have been getting some letters that I really think should go to the President. Many of them tell me that since Election Day the writers are constantly meeting people who instead of trying to make plans whereby they would prevent the worst from happening are now making plans in the hope of obtaining their kind of legislation.
The new Congress will carry a very heavy responsibility because the people feel that progressive liberals have been elected. A great deal will be expected of them. It won't do just to pass harmless legislation. It will have to be really good legislation.
Many of my friends who are interested in various welfare groups are writing to me that now we can get better social security laws, more housing, something done to improve our educational system, better coordination in the work we do for the children, and, above all, some really good work on the nation's health.
I am a little appalled at the ferment of ideas that seems to be stirring in many homes and communities, but, on the other hand, as I look with blank discouragement and almost cynicism at the last two years, I think it may be easier to restrain the overenthusiastic than it was to arouse the apathetic.
I realize, however, that both the Administration and Congress aroused so many hopes that it will be hard for them to fulfill them. The difficulty of choosing the major things that are essential toward progress is going to be one of the President's real problems.
The welding together of our far-flung world interests and our domestic interests also will be one of the difficult tasks. And it will not be made any easier by the fact that there is a great deal to be done at home, which very likely cannot be done so quickly as long as we have to do such a good deal in the rest of the world.
The reason why this must be the case is a subject for real education, since most of us know very little of the situation in other countries or the reasons for these situations. We think of ourselves as sitting safely and happily in our own broad land, with two oceans on either side of us, and we cannot imagine why we should be in danger of anyone unless we interfered with them.
Education is required to make us understand what the world really is like today. What is going on in places thousands of miles away—yet which still may affect our future and that of our children—can only be accepted by our people if someone makes it their business to explain the world outlook to us in very simple terms day by day.
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Yesterday I was presented with the "1949 Dime Hat," which was designed and created by Dorothy Gordon to commemorate the new March of Dimes Campaign for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The brim of the hat is turned up on the left side and under the basket weave of the felt, dimes are inserted; many more dimes are tucked into slits in the crown—more than 400 dimes in all, which will be turned over to the National Foundation. I was delighted to accept Miss Gordon's creation, but I must say I am glad I won't have to wear it, for its weight would be a matter of considerable discomfort.
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In the late afternoon I went up to the party given by Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Gould for members of the Ladies Home Journal staff and their friends at the newly decorated offices in Radio City. From 31 stories up one views the lights from the Times Square area through the expansive windows on the south and east sides and it is a perfectly fairylike scene. Of particular interest to me was the tiny experimental kitchen, which, if I lived alone, I should certainly install in my own home. It is so well arranged and so small that one could get an entire meal and never more from the central place in which one stood.