JULY 27, 1957
HYDE PARK—I am deeply disappointed by the news that the Federal School Aid bill has been killed in the House of Representatives. The motion by Representative Howard W. Smith, a Democrat from Virginia, to strike out the measure's enacting clause was passed by only five votes, 208 to 203, which is considerably closer than the vote of 224 to 194 that defeated a similar bill last year.
Someday the people of this country are going to wake up to the callousness that Congress has shown towards the greatest interest of our children. We should not allow our children to get a poor education in overcrowded schools—but that is what we are permitting the opponents of federal school aid to put over on us. Fundamentally, the mothers and fathers of America are the ones who will have to answer to their children on this question, in the long run.
While in New York City the early part of this week, I was interested to see three young Democrats who have formed the Lennox Club, in the Yorkville area, and plan to run candidates in the primaries for County offices. I hear that the same thing is happening in several other sections of New York City and I think it is a very good sign.
For the Democrats to be alive enough to really want to have a choice in their local leaders, and to take the trouble to get new people nominated, shows an interest which I think could only have been created by the activity among Stevenson supporters in the last campaign. I hope the regular organization will realize that this is helpful.
I venture to say it will be a good thing if the insurgents win. I was ashamed of a meeting I attended in the Yorkville area during the Stevenson campaign. From the small number of people there, it was perfectly evident that the regular organization had made no effort to get out the vote or to advertise the meeting.
Competition is good for us all. If we feel too certain that no one is going to criticize or complain about whatever we do, we have very little reason for doing a good job and we let things slide. There is no certainty, of course, that in all cases the opposition candidates to the regular party nominees will be the best choices, but an increase in political activity and interest cannot fail to result in better choices as time goes on.
I want to urge everyone in New York City to take advantage of the opportunity for permanent registration. They must do so fairly soon. It will save them a great deal of time and annoyance in the future, for having to register personally every year has meant waiting in long queues, and often being late for work or giving up what otherwise would have been free hours.
Here at Hyde Park, the time of year has come when my purple loosestrife is at its most beautiful. All around the brook and in the swamp it flourishes. We have had some rain of late and everything in the garden looks a little happier. I only hope we shall get enough more to help the farmers' crops.