SEPTEMBER 15, 1949
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Last night I spoke at the opening meeting of the Hyde Park Elementary School PTA. The program chairman, Mrs. George A. Palmer, wife of the Park Service Superintendent of the Memorial and Historical sites here, had asked me to take part of my address to the high school students and elaborate on it.
In my previous speech I had touched on preparation for meeting the new situation that we face in our country with regard to our relationship with the rest of the world.
I told the high school students that today we were not learning just to earn a living and continue thinking of our own interests alone. I said we were preparing ourselves to live in a world that was drawn much closer together by better communications and easier means of travel. This required of us expanded knowledge and interest in our fellow man. Therefore, we had to educate ourselves to understand the interests of people all over the world and how to tie them in with our own interests. In other words, we learn now to be citizens of the world, and that requires insight and preparation.
I tried to explain to my audience last night what children in other countries, which had been invaded, had to overcome in these postwar years and what fathers and mothers and educators had to contend with physically, mentally and spiritually.
There were things to be wiped out of the consciousness of people, bodies to be built up, hope to be restored and new moral standards to be strengthened. During invasion and occupation youngsters had known great deprivations and had learned many strange things that now must be changed.
Mr. Juckett, our very able superintendent was there, and since I believe that the PTA is one of the most important organizations we have in any community it was encouraging to meet so many parents. I was delighted with the chance to speak to them and chat with a few of them afterwards as refreshments were served.
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This morning I took two of my granddaughters, who are staying with me, to Vassar College. The older one is trying to decide which college she should attend. It had been a long time since I last saw the entire campus and I enjoyed it very much.
I was deeply impressed by the improvements and the opportunities for study and recreation now offered at Vassar. I could not help being just a little envious of the young people of this generation! They have a great many more opportunities than their elders had.
The most impressive thing at the school now, I think, is the library. Here there are small private rooms where students may take books and study in seclusion. What a chance for a youngster who may never before have had that opportunity for such privacy. I have two granddaughters who are thinking of Vassar and I certainly will be interested if they go there to follow the use they make of the opportunities offered them.