JUNE 17, 1943
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday morning, Mrs. Samuel A. Lewisohn, of the Public Education Association, called for me at my apartment in New York City at nine-thirty. We went by subway to Public School No. 194, on West 144th Street, New York City. The principal, Mr. Daniel G. Krane, had asked me to come to see a pageant which the children were putting on.
In conjunction with the Public Education Association, this school has been conducting a demonstration ever since last September of what an all-day neighborhood school can mean to the surrounding community. The children stay in school until 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, and there are special teachers assigned for group work in the additional hours.
This school is in a colored section, and so the children chose to do the history of Harlem. Another public school designed all the costumes and made them. The pageant was fresh and vivid and every youngster entered into his or her part with an earnestness which betokened real interest and understanding of the importance of the occasion.
These youngsters will never forget the parts they played, and it must be beneficial for them to acquire such a clear understanding of the growth of their city and of their own group within that city.
I went straight from the school to see Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., at the hospital and left in the afternoon for Washington.
Arrived in Washington, we had a very happy family reunion, for my aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. David Gray, are here from Dublin, Ireland, and our daughter-in-law, Mrs. Elliott Roosevelt, arrived on business. I take my hat off to all these young women who carry on their husbands' affairs while they are gone.
Many of them will be happy indeed to shed business cares in the future, but the training they have had will always be of value and give them a sense of independence if the need ever arises to go to work again. I think it is good for children also, to realize that their mothers are doing unusual tasks during this war period and that they have an obligation to take on more responsibilities to make these tasks possible.
If your mother isn't always there to remind you to put on your rubbers and to eat your supper, it is your war job to put on your rubbers and eat your supper all by yourself. Put in that light, many a youngster will take far more interest in this new type of responsibility, which is an avenue through which he can express his patriotism.