SEPTEMBER 22, 1952
HYDE PARK, Sunday—In Washington on Friday, I listened to a summary of the discussion that had taken place during the previous two days at the Conference on Citizenship sponsored by the Department of Justice and the National Education Association. I found that, as so often happens, they had not agreed in every case as to what citizenship really means, nor what we were actually trying to achieve in our present day democracy. They had evidently had some profitable discussion, however, and had made some good recommendations for increasing people's interest in their citizenship and for stimulating their efforts to participate in their government.
I was to try and show the tie between our own democracy and domestic interests and the broader world situation. I hope I did this satisfactorily. I was glad to find that there was considerable participation in this conference by youngsters. I think this is very important, since they are the ones who must carry on our citizenship. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting a young Mr. Harris, who represents the Gold Star sons. As I understood it, these young people, whose fathers have given their lives for this country, had banded together to uphold the principles for which their fathers died.
I was very happy that I could make this trip, in spite of the fact that I left New York in a heavy rainstorm and we had a rather bumpy time on our way to Washington. The trip back was beautiful, and as we came into New York City the sunlit sky was something to be remembered. As we drove over the 59th Street bridge and into the city I thought again what an extraordinary skyline we have and how very beautiful the city can be in the soft twilight, when the lights are just beginning to come on in the tall buildings.
In Hyde Park on Saturday we all attended the first Hyde Park Community Day, which is planned as an annual event. It centered around the Hyde Park Free Library and the Town Hall. All the Hyde Park businesses displayed their wares and one little manufacturing plant, called Florence Walsh Fashions, put on a very delightful fashion show in the Town Hall. In the library there were paintings by adults and by school children. There was a small exhibition of furniture which interested me very much. It was made by one of the Hyde Park craftsmen, Edward J. Holden, who specializes in copying early American furniture. He showed a very beautiful table of fine wood, well finished with a wooden turntable built into it, hand made, and costing only $150. There was also a lovely exhibit of pottery work done by another one of our neighbors, so that I began to feel there are many things one can acquire in Hyde Park which are more attractive than anything I have seen anywhere else.