JULY 30, 1952
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I had an interesting visit yesterday with Mr. and Mrs. Milton A. Smith. Mr. Smith is a writer now on Ebony Magazine. He had been in Korea and various other out-of-the-way places as a correspondent, and he told some interesting stories about people in these places and showed some interesting pictures of Anchorage, Alaska, which made me feel that in spite of the very high wages there it would be difficult to make life worth living there at the present time.
My other guest came from England—Mr. Sydney Henry. He has launched a project in England for a building to contain exhibits of all kinds of products made in many of the countries in North and South America and the British commonwealth of nations. It is an ambitious project, but I think there is a good chance of increasing the volume of trade for those countries and industries that are interested and I hope our business people will give it careful consideration.
In these times I feel the volume of trade is more important perhaps even than the price one is paying for each individual sale, and these permanent exhibits should create much interest in one another's goods and a far greater sale in all the countries involved.
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The house seems very deserted this week after the departure of our weekend guests. All of them were people of interest and anxious to take part in every kind of discussion.
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I have received a very interesting account of a new project to be launched on August 17 in places throughout the world where our armed forces are located.
Captain George Grow of the USAF writes me that "Way Back Home" will be started on that date. This is a recording that will be broadcast from nearly a thousand points throughout America on Sunday afternoons. There will be friendly greetings and goodwill gestures from home and then the familiar sounds which the troops themselves have asked to be recorded in their hometown will be heard.
Stories will be told and songs will be sung, and each Sunday this will be for some boys a bit of home carried to the area of the world in which they may be based. Just imagine how the soldier or sailor will feel to hear again the roar of Niagra Falls, if that is one thing that is so familiar to his ears, or to be told a story of what is going on at his own county fair. The sounds of a box-supper auction, for another example, will take many a boy back to some of his really good times at home.
There will be letters from prominent local residents read over the air or from relatives of the boys in the services. Music is a universal language and many of those who listen, even though they do not understand what is said, will understand the meaning of whatever music is played each week. And perhaps the local clergyman's prayers which will be given every week to carry a message not only to the boys from the cleric's home locality, but also to others with whom they fight.
It is hoped that all radio stations eventually will take part and this will become a popular feature in all programs. It will be different from the usual type of program that is beamed to our troops stationed overseas.