AUGUST 19, 1939
HYDE PARK, Friday—For the first time since last June we rode in the woods this morning and the mosquitoes and the flies are gone. A joyous discovery for man and beast!
I have noticed some comment in the newspapers on the change of the Thanksgiving Day date and today I get a most amusing letter attributing this change to a desire to help a certain race in this country, which is credited, in this note, with doing most of the "trading" and which, they say, is not interested in American traditions. Of course, I thought it was just Thanksgiving Day which was a tradition with us and not any particular date, for that has always varied. I think I can give thanks equally well a week before the last Thursday in November if that happens to make a slightly better division of the holiday season.
But, my dear man or woman, for you wrote to me anonymously, how about remembering how the Yankees were always good traders and perhaps some of them are still in the business? Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite holidays, but I am not going to enter into any discussions over the date so long as we retain a day on which to count our blessings and gather our families together.
I had a note the other day telling me of the Williamstown Institute of Human Relations which will be held from August 27th to September 1 at Williams College. The subject for discussion is to be "Citizenship and Religion." This is certainly an interesting subject at the present time and the speakers listed promise a very interesting three days. I would like very much to be able to attend some of the sessions and I shall make an effort to be there.
I have a letter from a lady today who is very much incensed over one of my columns. She knows a woman whose husband died during the depression and whose son has been unable to earn enough to support his wife, two children and his mother. Their ancestors helped to develop this country and she feels quite rightly that they should receive assistance. The lady adds that aliens should not receive aid and that her sister is a public school teacher who has taught citizenship in her locality for many years and cannot believe that any man spent thirty years in this country without becoming a citizen unless he was unfitted to be one. All I can say, dear lady, is travel around over your own country a little.
Yesterday afternoon I had only one obligation. Mr. James H. Hubert of the New York Urban League had written to ask if he could bring a group of Negro social workers to see the grounds of the big house and of the President's cottage and where the future library will be. I was glad to be able to show them around and they showed great appreciation of the views and the various things of historical interest.