MAY 7, 1937
SEATTLE, Thursday—Even though my opportunity for doing much sightseeing on this trip has been slight, still I have learned of some interesting things. I was presented, yesterday, by a group of boys under Mr. Dean, who are working in the NYA woodworking shop, with the model of a loom as beautifully made as any miniature piece of furniture. It is harder always to make a small article than a large one, and these boys could undoubtedly make a workable loom for use in their homes far more easily than they made this tiny and perfect model. They are gaining a training for eye and hand which cannot fail to be useful in any future work which they may do. Judging by the results, I feel sure that this particular NYA project is doing a very good job. From our Indian project a very beautiful pair of beaded moccasins was brought to me. I am glad to see these Indian arts preserved and developed, for I feel sure that there is a market in this country for their skills, if properly adapted to modern use.
Mr. Hugh Brown, Secretary of the Washington State Chamber of Mines, brought me three of the most interesting pieces of petrified wood that I have ever seen. One is a piece of petrified cypress of the late Eocene Age, approximately eight million years old, one a bevelled edge cube of petrified elm, is a beautiful piece of workmanship, and finally, a piece of the ancient Ginkgo tree is a lovely opalized stone. Ginkgo trees no longer grow in this country. Their home today is in China, but these last two specimens were found near Vantage Ferry, Washington. I was interested to find that the CCC camp nearby is one where boys from the lower east side of New York are learning what the far West is like. The State of Washington is rich in natural resources. They are about to build a building in which the public's attention may be drawn by exhibits to these. I cannot help getting a little thrill at the thought of how many people may someday be gaining a livelihood in this state alone, when once the nation wakes up to the fact that here is an undeveloped field waiting their interest and support.
One other thing which has to do with human resources has been brought to my attention. Unless our citizenship is constantly improving, our natural resources would be of little value to us, and Seattle has the largest attendance at public forums of any place in the United States. I know of few ways better adapted to the developing of intelligent citizens than this type of discussion forum. As an ally to the forums the WPA project of historical research which is seeking to find and preserve all interesting historical papers in the state will be of great value, for our knowledge of today is always based on our knowledge of the past.
The meeting in the Civic Auditorium last night was a very friendly and kindly welcome. I will confess to some trepidation beforehand at the thought of addressing so many people, but the atmosphere was so cordial that it seemed quite natural and easy to talk with them when the time came.