OCTOBER 10, 1951
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—When I was in Washington the other day I was ushered into the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mrs. Anna Rosenberg, and found General Hoyt Vandenberg sitting by her desk. I started to withdraw when Anna said, "Come in, Mrs. Roosevelt, I want you to hear this." Then to General Vandenberg she said, "Go on, general."
It turned out that he was agitated about two of his men whom the Veterans Administration had neglected to help with their housing problem. Another man was called in and sent over to the VA office and Mrs. Rosenberg put through a telephone call to there. Then she said, "We will certainly see what we can do to straighten out this situation as soon as possible."
With a look of relief on his face the general got up and left. I felt that I had seen something indicative of a mild revolution in the military services, a general worrying about two boys. It just could not be—but it was!
Somehow one always thought of a general as being removed from these problems. But the Air Force and the other services are concerned with individuals and their problems. Instead of dealing with machines they are dealing with people. And I could not help thinking that to some people it must still be a shock to make this discovery.
The women of the country would certainly be flattered if they could hear General Marshall talk about the value of women and their efficiency when something has to be done. At the Freedom House dinner on Sunday night he spent some time telling me what good work had been done in certain situations by the Federation of Women's Clubs and how hard he felt women would work when once they were convinced that something needed to be done. It made me feel very proud, but at the same time it gave me an overwhelming sense of responsibility. If we can do things, and we do know how to organize, then perhaps we should prove this in action more often than we do.
I came up to Hyde Park on Monday morning and my friend, Mrs. Charles Fayerweather, came down from New Lebanon, N.Y., to spend a few days with me. At noon we had the pleasure of a visit from Dr. and Mrs. Alberto Gainza Paz and two other members of their family.
In the afternoon three gentlemen came from Kingston to talk to me about the various events that are being prepared to celebrate the tercentenary of the founding of Kingston. Our state government began in Kingston and our first Governor was inaugurated there, and the history of the Hudson Valley is really a part of the history of Kingston.
All the towns up and down the river between Albany and New York City could probably find something to celebrate during this coming year. Kingston is becoming deeply interested in its own history and the part this area has played in laying the foundations for the characteristics of the people who really built the State of New York. I shall hope to see many of the events that are scheduled during next spring and summer.
In the evening Mrs. Craig McGeachy Schuller, who came up for the night, Mrs. Fayerweather and I went to Pleasant Valley, a village not far from Poughkeepsie for a P.T.A. meeting. We found everyone extremely interested to know what they could do to help children all over the world.