DECEMBER 7, 1939
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Two young people who had come up from Virginia with Dr. Latham Hatcher of the Alliance for the Guidance of Rural Youth, to broadcast with me in the evening, talked over what we would say at luncheon yesterday. The Alliance is attempting to bring the problems of rural youth and some suggested solutions before as many people as possible. There seemed so much to say and so little time in which to say it, that I was rather aghast at what we would be able to do in the short time allotted to us.
This is a big problem. It embraces, first of all, what can be done to make rural life more worthwhile, so that more young people will want to remain on the soil and find it possible to do so. Secondly, we have to face the fact that many of them must leave and, therefore, schools and communities should prepare them, not only for life at home, but give them every opportunity to be prepared for living in the city when they go there.
One point they made struck me as entirely new, and that was the fact that employment offices can only be found in cities. When I thought of my own county seat, Poughkeepsie, New York, I realized that the employment offices there are not very well equipped to help young people to place themselves in the most advantageous type of employment.
The young people and I happened to reach the broadcasting station simultaneously in the evening and did some rehearsing before we went on the air. I am led to believe that we must have made a good impression, for as I was leaving the studio, a message was handed to me from a gentleman in Virginia, saying that he would like to give one of the young people a job. I turned this offer over to Dr. Hatcher, because, of course, it would have to be investigated. I am not sure that these young people who were talking last night, are through with their education and in a position to take a job. It was a gratifying incident and I hope that some boy or girl may get a job out of it.
Both of the youngsters on the air with me were very attractive and seemed quick and intelligent, for it is not easy to get so many ideas across in a short time.
Some very interesting people came in to tea yesterday afternoon. They had been Youth Hosteling through Europe and North Africa for nearly a year and a half, and their stories of the adventures which come to those who walk and hitch-hike were most entertaining. Besides, they had vivid impressions of the people in many countries, the simple people as well as those in power, so when they get around to writing about their trip, it will make good reading.
I had a short ride this morning. The weather is clearing beautifully, so that flying to New York City this afternoon should be pleasant.
The luncheon in honor of the ladies of the Supreme Court took place today and is the first really formal function of the winter.