FEBRUARY 10, 1949
ST. LOUIS, Wednesday—What a winter this seems to be in the Western part of our country!
The flights with hay to keep the cattle alive and the medicines and food for the isolated families are indeed epics of the air. It must seem strange for some of these crews who served during the war and used their skill for destructive purposes now to be flying miles every day in a grand effort to protect the food supplies and alleviate the sufferings of people in these isolated areas. One storm seems to follow another, and I read a report quoting weather men that this has been the worst winter, with more blizzards over a wider area, than in many years.
In the East, we said these things about our winter last year.
In contrast, except for one storm around New Year's, we have had a comparatively mild winter so far in 1949, during which even the roads which usually are difficult to use in winter have been open and passable.
As the stories come in of the sufferings in the Western areas, I see recurring mention of the fact that the Indians on their reservations have had a particularly hard time. On many of these reservations the majority of the Indians are still wards of the Government and while their living conditions have never been of the best, they are reported to be worse than usual at present.
I wish that the whole Indian situation throughout this country could be thoroughly investigated and sincere efforts made to improve the lot of these original owners of the United States.
I cannot help wondering what the tour of the State of Virginia actually means to the two young Russian flyers who landed recently in the United States Zone in Germany and were brought to this country. These are the two boys who decided to leave their native land after hearing a Voice of America broadcast tell about the wonders of our country and particularly Virginia. I am rather glad that the Army sent them over here for a first-hand look, and while their communication with Russia now is undoubtedly completely cut off, if they really want to get word back they can do it through some of the satellite countries.
I think their association with people who were living their everyday lives in this democracy of ours must be a very enlightening experience. They may not find us perfect, but I surmise they must find a number of things which, by comparison with what they had left behind, do not seem too bad.