JANUARY 3, 1958
WARM SPRINGS, GA.—One of the nicest holiday gifts I received was an entirely unexpected one. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, N.Y., finished a publication it has been planning for some time called "Franklin D. Roosevelt and Conservation, 1911-1945," compiled and edited by Edgar B. Nixon.
There are two volumes, and the foreward, written by the director of the library, Herman Kahn, begins:
"The joint resolution approved July 18, 1939, establishing the F.D.R. Library authorizes the archivist of the U.S. (Wayne C. Grover) to prepare, publish and sell textual reproductions of the library's material. This authorization indicates that the farmers of the resolution were aware that one of the most important responsibilities of an archivist is to make the papers in his custody widely and conveniently available for research use as quickly as possible."
This book shows how early my husband's interest in conservation developed and in how many ways it affected some of the programs he proposed or fostered as State Senator, as Governor and as President.
The quotation chosen for the beginning of the book is one taken from a speech made in Cleveland, Ohio, November 2, 1940. In it he described a vision which he kept in the forefront of his mind in the early days of his manhood, and from then to the end of his life. He said: "I see an American whose rivers and valleys and lakes—hills and streams and plains—the mountains over our land and nature's wealth deep under the earth—are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people."
These two volumes can be bought from the library, and if anyone is interested in conservation, regardless of whether he believes politically in any of my husband's ideas, I think he will find the material in these books of great interest.
There are many things that need to be done in this country before this vision of my husband will really come about, namely, the prevention of floods and droughts, or at least setting up methods by which areas prone to droughts can be irrigated. And this is all part of a flood control system which would use our rivers to better advantage than in the past.
We cannot go on allowing our top soil to flow into the sea and to spend millions to repair damage done by floods instead of millions for their prevention. The measures taken for conservation in the early days now become more urgent and more comprehensive, since we are no longer a pioneer country but one which must conserve and rebuild its natural resources.
These two volumes, therefore, are very timely for the new conditions and remedies that must be brought to the attention of our people and our lawmakers.
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It is not often that I get much chance to mention books, so I would like to say a word about a book for children published by the MacMillan Company called "Gardening—a New World for children," by Sally Wright, illustrated by Ruth Shutz.
You and your children will enjoy looking through this book. The illustrations are delightful and the material quite understandable for young people of an age to manage garden tools.
I do not think gardening by children can be undertaken without the guidance of grownups and so the list of books at the end of this little volume will be helpful to parents in advising young people how to garden and how to enjoy it.