OCTOBER 19, 1938
CHICAGO, Tuesday—An item in the newspapers here this morning about the Treasury Art Project touched a responsive chord, for I have become deeply interested in the development of our American artists during the past few years. I feel the Government took a distinct step forward in demonstrating the interest it now feels in the fine arts when, on October 16th of this year, the Secretary of the Treasury in recognition of good work done during the past four years by the section of painting and sculpture, announced that this will become a permanent activity of the Treasury and will be known as the Section of Fine Arts. Every person interested in development of our own American art most rejoice in this sign of Government recognition.
Yesterday afternoon we had an interesting time in Charleston, Illinois. First we went to see the historical park which has been created on the old farm which belonged to Thomas Lincoln and his wife, Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's father and step-mother. The CCC boys have done most of the work of putting the grounds in order and reconstructed a split rail fence and built the log cabin. They found the site of the old root cellar and the old well, and they actually found an old cattle trough which had been in use ever since the days of Thomas Lincoln.
Afterwards, we visited the old churchyard in which the Lincolns are buried and then we proceeded to the CCC Camp where the boys who are doing so much of this interesting work, are housed. It seemed to be a model camp, nicely planted and well kept, and the boys looked healthy and happy. They are near enough to the town to profit by educational advantages at the college and recreational opportunities in the town. One of the boys has actually finished college and is now working with the NYA program.
From there we went to one of the NYA Resident Boys Projects, which has been established in a house not far from the college. These boys take advantage of classes in industrial arts and work on landscaping around the new college buildings. Besides that, they do all the work in the house in which they live, even assisting the cook. Later they will have a garden of their own. I thought they were a grand set of youngsters and was very favorably impressed by the way in which they aided in the management of the house. I was glad to find that the food costs on this project were kept below the food costs in the CCC camp.
We arrived in Chicago this morning and I spent two hours and a half with a very interesting group of people discussing educational problems.
A few friends came to lunch and, like every other woman, I must now go and waste time at the hairdressers.