MARCH 15, 1958
PITTSBURGH—The Senate is certainly cooperating in helping the President give our economy a shot in the arm, and I am glad of it. I had not heard much in my own neighborhood about difficulties in getting a job before, but last Wednesday when I went to Hyde Park to speak at Vassar on the Soviet Union, I was told that it is becoming difficult to find work in the neighborhood.
During dinner at President Sarah Blanding's house, I heard of two nearby factories that were either closed down or working only two or three days a week. I was also told that whereas it had been hard to find anyone to do short-time jobs, there now are a number of people asking for that kind of work.
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Those pictures in the papers, showing the cars in Yonkers, N.Y., whose tires were slashed as they stood parked along the street, made one realize how many cars we have in this country. Without in any way condoning such a senseless act of vandalism, I think that very fact may help explain how some unthinking boys—or even older people—who would like to have a car, might be tempted to take out their disappointment by destroying the property of others. It is sometimes hard for a person to see any reason why he should be denied what so many people have.
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I am glad to see that the New York Times has come out against the plan to increase space in the Capitol Building in Washington by moving the east facade forward and changing it from its present limestone to marble. There are other ways of obtaining more space within the building.
This plan seems a desecration of one of the most beautiful historic monuments we have. I cannot help hoping that the members of the committee, who are all set to go ahead with this, will come to their senses—or perhaps I should say, increase their sense of values—as regards historic monuments and not allow this really beautiful front to be changed.
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There was an amusing little item in a metropolitan paper this week, telling about a mailman in an R.F.D. area who is suing for $25,000 damages because one of the mailboxes along his route was covered with ivy which turned out to be poison ivy. He must have had a very bad case of poisoning, and any of us who have ever suffered from it will feel great sympathy with him.
Still, $25,000 does seem a rather large amount to ask for something that might happen to almost anyone in any rural district. One might reasonably expect that a rural mail carrier who is susceptible to ivy poisoning would carry a knife with which to cut the main stems of any offending, or threatening, ivy plants himself. A little self-protection is sometimes a good thing!