APRIL 25, 1939
WASHINGTON, Monday—Miss Thompson and I had a quiet and uneventful trip back on the train last night. Mr. John Blum, who was on the train, sent me a copy of the arrangements being made for April 30th, when the President opens the New York World's Fair. It read like a very hectic day, but I suppose it will all go off so smoothly that it will be possible to do all the various things described in the time allotted.
Down here it is easy to believe that spring has actually come. It was warm in New York state yesterday, but it is much warmer down here. I took a ride this morning and noticed that eveything is in bloom and that the work on the new airport is going ahead by leaps and bounds. As far as I can see, this is the only ride I will have for another ten days, unless I get up "before breakfast" at Hyde Park and ride a horse. Though I don't enjoy doing this very much, if it is as lovely up there next weekend as it is here now, I shall find myself sorely tempted to arise at dawn, for the spring and fall are the only two seasons when one enjoys riding in the woods at Hyde Park. In the summer the flies make both horse and rider miserable.
I was told this morning that there is some new kind of preparation which you can put on your horse and which will drive away the insects for three hours and I hope that we find it works out. My only concern then will be if it can be applied to the rider, for I don't like to be eaten up any more than the horse does.
At 12:30 a group from the Dalton School in New York City, came in to see the White House and to ask me some questions. I was much impressed by the first question propounded: "If you were graduating this year, Mrs. Roosevelt, what would you consider the most important question confronting you as you stepped out into the world?" Quite a question that, especially for women today.
I answered it from the broad standpoint of all young people and suggested that the study of our democracy and the place we should occupy as citizens of it was, perhaps, the most universally important question for youth to confront. For girls in particular, I have an idea that there is an interest in the position of women as it exists in the democracies and as it exists under other forms of government. This question ought to be worthy of a little study by young women. There is no question that restricted general opportunities have a bearing on opportunities for women and the conditions under which women will live and develop in the future.