JULY 31, 1952
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Yesterday was a beautiful day—ideal for our short journey into New England. There is no lovelier part of the world in which to motor than that section of our country. Nearly all the villages you go through have some old houses and most of them have preserved the beautiful shade trees along the main streets. The rolling country, the woods and streams and the old and new farmhouses make New England one of the most delightful places through which to drive.
We went into Connecticut and found the roads had been improved, so that our trip over to Avon, near Hartford, which was made on a very direct route, was both shorter than usual and more comfortable. We lunched with my cousin, Mrs. Joseph Alsop, and Mrs. Sheffield Cowles, another cousin, who came over from Farmington to see us. Somehow or other, even though these two are on the Republican side of the family, we see one another regularly and even discuss political questions with comparative ease.
Mrs. Alsop has four grandchildren with her, but somehow the atmosphere was more peaceful than the atmosphere brought about by seven children in our surroundings here. Some children probably can think up more mischief than others.
It is wonderful to have such cool weather again, and I cannot help hoping that perhaps the worst of our heat is over. Since I can remember so many years back, however, I know we can have very hot weather even in the first few days of September.
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I forgot to say a word of congratulation to Puerto Rico on July 25, when that nation celebrated Constitution Day.
The Puerto Ricans have chosen by popular referendum to remain within the Federal union of the United States and thus to have political self-government. Puerto Rico has been under the protection of the American flag for 54 years and I think it is a very good thing that they have now made their own choice as to how they wish to regulate their position within the U.S. orbit.
The people of Puerto Rico have kept their distinct culture and their social organization. They have chosen to use some of the techniques and business methods that they have found in the United States in order to attain higher living standards. Our State Department, therefore, has designated Puerto Rico as a "Point 4 laboratory." This is particularly important because Puerto Rico is one of the links with our South and Central American neighbors and what is done there may prove useful to other countries with similar problems.
I visited Puerto Rico many years ago and so did my husband, and both of us thought it a beautiful island inhabited by charming people who were laboring under many economic difficulties. The greatest perhaps was exploitation by certain large companies, but another heavy handicap was overpopulation.
I hope that under its own government, in close cooperation with the United States, great improvements will come about in Puerto Rico, and I certainly wish everything good for this delightful island and its governor, the Honorable Luis Munoz-Marin.