DECEMBER 19, 1957
NEW YORK—I must tell you about something that came to my attention the other day, and the more I think of it, the more I think it is worthy of consideration.
All of us know that in different parts of our country there are Halls of Fame commemorating persons who have identified themselves with some particular phase of American life. And although one of our basic occupations has been farming, we have no hall of fame for agriculture! Are you surprised?
A long while ago the Roman Cato expressed himself in the following words: "The agricultural population produces brave men, valiant soldiers, and a class of citizens the least given of all to evil designs." The founding fathers of our republic—Washington, Jefferson, Madison and many of their contemporaries—were farmers.
The basic economy of any country is the production of food from the land, yet we have no national memorial of recognition to agriculture and the men connected with it!
Many farmers have distinguished themselves in many other ways, but it seems to me that it would be important to remember that they also were a part of such a basic side of our life.
So I pass along the suggestion made to me by Howard A. Cowden, president of the Consumers Cooperative Association, for a hall of fame for agriculture because I think we should never forget our basic industry, the men who built our country and those who are still building it by working on the land.
I went to see Noel Coward in the Broadway play, "Nude With Violin," recently. It was a light and amusing evening, and I was very happy to see Mr. Coward again.
Whether playing the role of the butler or of the duke, he will always be Mr. Coward. And while he is a delightful actor, I will always think of him sitting at the piano in the East Room of the White House, playing and singing songs to my husband's great joy.
I hope to have the pleasure of seeing Mr. Coward again in the near future, for in a world where one must think of serious things most of the time, a few hours of pleasant relaxation with a comedy such as "Nude With Violin" and with as delightful a personality as Noel Coward is always a joy.
I must tell you of a luncheon I had a short time ago with Jerome Davis. He brought me samples of the material published by the Organization for Promoting Enduring Peace, and I found many of those pamphlets and cards remarkably interesting and informative. They are written by people who know extremely well the subject with which they deal.
This organization evidently is distributing its literature in large quantities, so it probably will have no trouble giving you any information you may request. Its address is 489 Ocean Avenue, West Haven, Conn.