OCTOBER 2, 1952
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I have a letter from Mr. Berger Underdahl who reminds me of American Art Week, which traditionally is celebrated from November 1 to 7. He tells me that the City of Portland, Oregon, originated the observance of this week 19 years ago. Mrs. Harold Dickinson Marsh was the inspiration for this annual event. She felt strongly that art should be brought into everybody's home and that everyone should participate and not be merely a spectator. The idea spread till the week was observed all over the Americas.
This year, with the cooperation of the Veterans Administration, the Department of the Army, the Adjutant General, the Institute of International Education, and the American International College, American Art Week will be celebrated all over the free world, even on our air base islands.
Museums will feature collections of American paintings, schools will show the work of American students. Even the armed and occupational forces will put on exhibits in Salvation Army huts and in village churches the world over. Painting is an art that requires no words to explain it, so we, through our artists are really talking to peoples all over the world.
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On Monday night in Hyde Park, after seeing Elliott and his wife and her little boy off on the train for Colorado, I went to the town hall to speak for the health unit of the town, at the request of the public health nurse.
To my great pleasure the president of the unit told me that they were becoming very "health conscious" and, therefore, were anxious to know about the World Health Organization and the state of health in the rest of the world.
I can remember the time when my mother-in-law and Mrs. Archibald Rogers maintained the services of the first nurse to serve the town of Hyde Park. She was well received, but the town was not sufficiently enthusiastic about her services to retain her after the initial year of experiment.
Now, however, conditions have changed. The townspeople themselves realize the value of the public health nurse and this health unit is organized to support her in her work. This pattern is spreading throughout the United States and many communities are very proud of what they are achieving. I do not think we should be complacent, however, for the state of health in our country, particularly mental health, is not so good that we can feel there is nothing left for us to do.
I am glad, therefore, to find citizens who are alert and anxious to know about their own country and about the other countries of the world as well.
At the end of the meeting I was asked what groups, such as theirs, could do for the World Health Organization. I hope that desire to be of service will spread and that they will get a helpful answer from the international organization because there must be many women in this country who could help in this imperative job in many parts of the world.