MARCH 7, 1959
SEATTLE—Much of my time on this trip has been taken up with long daytime flights as well as some late-night flying, but we have been fortunate to have good flying weather and no delays.
The other day at Ricks College, the Mormon institution at Rexburg, Idaho, we were privileged to sit in on a drama class and enjoyed every minute of it. I was told that two of three or the students really hope to become professional actors and that the others probably will use what they learn in their later teaching.
There also is a fairly strong musical interest among the students at Ricks, and this, too, is largely in preparation for their teaching careers.
When Miss Corr and I lunched with the journalism class we found that many in the group hoped to become reporters after their college days. Some of the boys particularly hoped to be sports writers, which, I suppose is a natural youthful ambition.
On the whole, these students are most interested in the goings-on throughout the world, but I had a feeling that they feel somewhat isolated and far away from it all. When I explained the fact that there were many hungry people in the world, one young girl exclaimed, "Why, Mrs. Roosevelt, I never thought of that!"
And Miss Corr told me that some of the people around her, when I mentioned in my talk the Soviet reaction to the Little Rock incident, looked at each other in surprise and murmured, "What was that incident?"
This, then, was a fresh reminder that one must not take for granted the length of people's memories. Of course, this incident, which was so widely spread in the press of many countries, would perhaps hardly have been mentioned in the newspapers of Idaho, where the problem of integration does not exist. And it is sometimes hard for us to keep in mind that to the world we are one country, even though at home our individual states may find it difficult even to know what goes on in another distant state.
I was encouraged to read in the Rexburg newspaper, however, that at last the school question is being discussed on a national basis. It was acknowledged that in the past the greatest interest had been in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic States, but that now other areas are becoming anxious to get national aid to raise teachers' salaries and to build essential new buildings.
This whole school question should be looked upon as a truly national issue and not regarded merely as the concern of only a few states.
My evening lecture was very well attended by a most attentive audience, and the half-hour question period that followed brought out a real desire for more knowledge of world events.