AUGUST 25, 1953
HYDE PARK, Monday—On Sunday I had a visit in Hyde Park from some students brought from Bard College and I was delighted to find that Mr. and Mrs. Donald Coote of Hyde Park were entertaining groups of students at a meal in their own home. This is the kind of informal friendly gesture which I think gives foreign students in their early days in this country their first real understanding of American family life. In the group were three people from Asia, two Indians and one Pakistani, an Icelander, a Finn and I think a Norwegian, so they were varied, and learning about each other as well as learning about the United States!
Today, the whole group, 43 from Bard, who have been here for a four weeks' orientation course before going on to their permanent colleges and universities, are bringing their picnic suppers to our picnic ground, and I look forward to meeting them all.
The president of the Consolidated Sportsmen's Club of Maine has written me that they have succeeded in getting their Governor to issue a proclamation for the celebration of the fifth Children's Sports Day. They feel that encouragement of sports among the children is one of the best things that can be done to prevent juvenile delinquency and that all the grown people interested in sports should help in this undertaking.
They are also interested in having this made a national project by getting more and more state governors to issue such proclamations and they have even succeeded in getting a joint resolution introduced in Congress by Rep. Robert Hale. This resolution which was H.J. Res. 35 in the 83rd Congress, first session, was referred to the Committee on Judiciary. It would designate the fourth Saturday of August of each year as Children's Day. And this would be done by a Presidential proclamation which would invite all agencies and organizations interested in child welfare to provide for the proper observance of that day "by holding such exercises as will instill in the children of the nation a zeal for good sportsmanship and teach them to enjoy, appreciate, and conserve our national resources and wildlife."
These last objectives seem to me particularly important. Our national resources are often squandered by carelessness. I remember visiting in Switzerland the oldest commercial forest in the world which pays a large part of the taxes of the city of Zurich, but the children of Zurich never build a fire in the forest. They walk in the forest, they picnic, they play, but they never leave anything untidy behind them. They have been taught to know the value of trees, the value of the protection of wildlife, and they get pleasure out of the beauty and take the proper care of the natural resources of their country.
Our children could learn in exactly the same way and could get just as much pleasure as they do now. Our hunters would even hunt better if no carelessness started forest fires, which are the most destructive things that can happen, both for our woods and for our wildlife.