FEBRUARY 6, 1940
WASHINGTON, Monday—When I arrived at the station in Poughkeepsie yesterday afternoon, I found that the trains were running late. Luckily, I made a train ahead of the one I had intended to take, but even at that I only reached New York City at 6:13 p.m. It being a Sunday, I went straight through the station to the 42nd Street side, stepped into a taxi at 6:20, and was in the Pennsylvania Station at 6:25. There I was greeted by Mrs. Morgenthau, who waved my tickets at me, and with a look of great relief said: "If you had been one minute later, I would have asked to have the train held for you." That would have been really humiliating, for in spite of the fact that I am granted special favors on all occasions, I still have an inherent dislike to ask for them.
However, we made the train easily and I was handed a large envelope which Miss Thompson had sent me in care of the station master, just to give me something to do on my trip to Washington. She was quite successful, and with the exception of a short time out for dinner, Mrs. Morgenthau worked on the contents of her briefcase and I did what I could with the envelope of mail, but it was far from finished when we pulled into the Washington station.
All my guests were already here, and Mrs. Gray met me at the station to tell me of their safe arrival. They had all gone to bed, so our first meeting was at breakfast this morning. After breakfast, we separated to go our various ways, but Mrs. Joseph Patterson, who is staying with me, is a member of the NYA conference which opened here this morning, so she and I had only to go down to the East Room to start our day's work.
This first session was given up to speeches which attempted to set the problems of the NYA girls before the groups. The National Youth Administration feels that it wants to do the best possible job, both for the young people who are still in school or college and who receive some cash payments for which they do specified work in connection with the school or college, and also for those young people on the Work Projects. These are set up to meet the demands of the out-of-school, out-of-work young women under twenty-five years of age, and are planned with the hope of training them for jobs.
Mrs. Dorothy Canfield Fisher gave a most stimulating address in which she stressed the point that women had simply followed their jobs out of the home into the world and were continuing their usual occupations, which now existed outside the home. The modern home no longer requires the work of women and, therefore, they search for an outlet and find it almost entirely in the same type of service which they rendered at one time within the four walls of their homes.
Some of the statements by young people at the close of the morning were very interesting and from now on the sessions will be discussion meetings. I hope we will face the problems before us and receive some good suggestions on how to do a better job than we are doing today.