JANUARY 20, 1949
HARTFORD, Conn., Wednesday—We need so much stress on housing nowadays, since houses at moderate prices are probably the greatest shortage we have at the moment, that I think you might be interested to know what Atlanta, Ga., is doing to spread knowledge and interest in good housing.
They are fortunate in Atlanta in having had Charles F. Palmer interested in this subject for many years. I can recall one of his trips to England to study housing over there, after which he reported to my husband in the White House and sent some movies that interested us very much.
Now he has succeeded in inspiring something which is far more fundamental. It is a school book for Atlanta's children, called "Building Atlanta's Future," which is perfectly fascinating and should interest any child. Its real value, however, is in the possibility of duplicating it, with variations according to the area you want children to study, and using it in every school in the country.
The appeal of this book can be adapted to various ages too, and as you look at this volume your mind sees hundreds of other possibilities. If this medium were used to interest more school children in this and other related problems, it would not be long before the parents' concern was aroused and we really would have a housing-conscious nation.
As usual, at this time of year, we are beginning to get the appeals for money from various groups. Where there are Community Chests, some agencies are taken care of, but for many reasons all organizations do not share in these local drives.
For instance, the American Red Cross always asks for our support separately, and the collection for the Red Cross is so well organized that most of us know that at a certain time we will be appealed to wherever we live. As I have an apartment in New York City and a home at Hyde Park, I usually am asked by New York City, Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park! Many years ago I became a life member of the American Red Cross, but somehow my conscience never quite lets me rest on that fact because I know how many calls always come knocking at the door of the Red Cross organization.
I thought that in the last war the Red Cross did a better job than in World War I, but there were criticisms, as there must always be when a job is as big as was the Red Cross service to the armed forces.
Aside from that, however, there are jobs that go on year in and year out. The Red Cross must be ready to meet emergencies—fire, flood, epidemics, earthquakes—almost everything that strikes unexpectedly.
The women volunteers who make hospital supplies and do much of the detail work of the Red Cross organization, have felt at times that their work has not received as much recognition as it should, and I hope there will be more consideration for these faithful workers. No matter how much we feel that good work should be its own reward, it is a satisfaction to have the public know that this constant and faithful devotion to duty never flags among the women of the country.