MARCH 28, 1949
HYDE PARK, Sunday—The first real glimpses of spring could be seen in our swamps this morning—the red, curled-over heads of the jack-in-the-pulpits were well above the ground. Spring is an exciting time. Every time you go out you see some little new green blade pressing upwards to greet the sun.
My two little dogs got spring fever the other night when I was away and bolted even before they had their supper. They never returned the whole night through, despite whistling and calling.
Two of my little grandsons are staying with me, and the younger one, when he heard that the dogs had been out all night, remarked: "They did not mean to stay out all night, Granny; no one remembers to give them a key."
At six o'clock in the morning the dogs returned safe and sound, but I am glad I was away and did not know about this case of spring fever.
The organization known as CARE has just undertaken a new form of distribution in Europe. In addition to food for the body, that is, they are now going to distribute food for the mind, in the form of books from the United States. They will do this in cooperation with the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, the Library of Congress, the American Library Association and others.
Anyone who has been abroad knows that countries invaded by the Nazis lost thousands of books from their libraries. The plan is to get from the needy European universities, technical schools or professional groups a list of their most urgent needs, and as funds are made available, CARE will buy, ship and distribute the books.
Any of us who are interested may take part in this undertaking. If we give more than ten books, it will be made possible for us to designate which country we would like our books to be sent for distribution. This activity is going to start on May 15, so if you have any way of informing more people of this program, CARE will be grateful for your cooperation.
Without a distribution of books through which people in other parts of the world can acquire an understanding of this country, it will be difficult to promote the cause of peace or to increase the knowledge which one group of people has about another group. These books, of course, will be American books and it may well be that they will not cover all the needs of any group of people. But at least a very general list can be compiled and made available for choice.
I cannot imagine anything more difficult than facing the empty shelves in the schools and libraries of Europe, where they used to be so rich in reference material and where, I think, people on the whole kept more abreast of the times along many lines than in any other area of the world. I am glad, therefore, to bring this new activity to the attention of the public and hope that many of us will have a share in the books that go from here to other parts of the world.