DECEMBER 3, 1953
NEW YORK, Wednesday—A book has just come to me which I think everyone will want to get. It is called A TREASURY OF HYMNS and is a selection made by Maria Leiper and Henry W. Simon, of the best loved hymns, anthems, children's hymns, and gospel songs. Historical notes are by Wallace Brockway and decorations by Frank Lieberman. These decorations are delightful, from the little bird sitting on a branch on the cover to the swirling lines around the pages.
Some of my favorite decorations appear with the Christmas carols. I found in the back of the book some of my favorite hymns, ones that I remember from the days of religious revival meetings, such as "Throw Out the Life Line" and "Shall We Gather By the River."
Very few people have the habit nowadays which was practically universal in my childhood. Every Sunday evening we gathered round the members of the family who could play the piano and sing and no matter how poor our voices were we could join in. I look back to those Sunday evening hymn times as some of the pleasantest hours of my childhood. I wish families would start in and do the same thing again for I think it creates a tie between young people and old that remains as a pleasant memory always.
The President's committee on the employment of the handicapped released a film in November called "America's Untapped Assets" and this film has gone to every TV station in the United States. At its preview it was shown to United Nations Committee members and representatives of societies and organizations interested in the problems of rehabilitation.
Mr. Donald Wilson, representing the International Society for the Welfare of Cripples, said "The picture not only presents the employment of the handicapped in an interesting and helpful way but more than that it gives an excellent idea of how things are done in America. This facet of the picture makes it doubly interesting to us for distribution abroad."
The story of the film tells of an insurance company, the Bankers Life and Casualty Company of Chicago, which retrains old people and handicapped people and now uses 650 of them on jobs. Deaf mutes are the file clerks and the president of the company, Mr. John D. MacArthur, says they are extremely efficient.
The addressing machine is operated by a one-armed Korean veteran, and an 80-year-old grandmother counts out millions of dollars in premium receipts.
This film should give confidence to many people who have thought they could not employ handicapped people in the past and will, I hope, enormously increase the number of these people used in the future.