JANUARY 3, 1950
HYDE PARK, Monday—We celebrated New Year's Eve at what might be called a house-warming party in the new house of my son and daughter-in-law near Poughquag in Dutchess County. I am happy to say they have bought a home only a 30-minute drive from us, and many of their friends and neighbors gathered there on New Year's Eve.
All went very happily, but on New Year's day Franklin, Jr. had an accident with his horse. Although not very serious, it was somewhat painful and they telephoned for Dr. David Gurewitsch, who was staying with me. There was an eggnog party at my cottage New Year's afternoon, and afterward I drove down with the doctor to see Franklin, Jr. He naturally hopes to be in Washington on Tuesday, so everything is being done to get him off.
The unusually mild weather has been a drawback for the children. Those who have been with me over the holidays had high hopes of skating or coasting or even some skiing, but we still have bare ground and intermittent rain. For the grown-ups who are driving back to New York, however, there are the advantages of having safer roads to travel on. After lunch, all my household will go back to town for school openings and regular work that must be resumed. I am staying here until Tuesday morning, as I have nothing to do in New York until the noon hour.
I think the lower rate of motor accidents in the country may be due to the milder weather. It always seems sad that the beginning of the new year should be marred by any catastrophe. A holiday which always carries the memory of some sad family occurrence ceases to bring the carefree joy which one associates with and hopes for at such times.
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I notice that 632 members of the du Pont family celebrated the 150th year that the family has been established in the United States. As a family, they have certainly done a great deal for the advancement of the country. The country, however, has also given them the wherewithal with which to work. One hopes that they, like so many other families who can look back over a great many generations established in this rich country of ours, will now be concerned with preserving—through careful conservation of our natural resources and through the use of their laboratories and inventions for the benefit of the nation as a whole—the same type of opportunity for future generations which their ancestors enjoyed. When families grow in number and wealth, they exert great influence and power and have a responsibility to carry their share of the country's responsibilities. Today, the United States of America carries heavy responsibilities, and every citizen who has received much from this country must feel the need to give much in return.