JUNE 13, 1941
NEW YORK, Thursday—I attended the graduation exercises yesterday afternoon for Washington's shut-in pupils. Many of them were either in hospitals or unable to leave their homes, but a good many could be brought to the school. It was wonderful to watch their faces and to see how well they took part in the exercises. They sang and acted and were given badges of merit for effort and proficiency in various lines.
Unfortunately, the appropriation provided last year was not sufficient to reach all the shut-in children of the District. Nearly all large cities consider this educational service part of the public school education, but the District of Columbia has carried on its program under the Public Welfare Board. Next year, it is hoped, it will be placed by Congress under the Board of Education, who have collaborated very closely.
Even though the Commissioners requested only $15,000, so many people have appeared before the Congressional Committee, it is hoped the amount will be increased. At present, these youngsters can have only one hour and a half of schooling a week, and they should have one hour a day, five days a week.
In spite of their physical handicaps, these children, like all others I know in a similar condition, look cheerful and smiling and are deeply appreciative of anything which is done for them.
Later, at the White House, the quartette of the West Virginia ladies, who call themselves the West Virginia Legionnaires, came to tea. After being shown through the White House, they went off to their engagement, leaving Miss Edna Ferber, Mrs. Anne O'Hare McCormick, Mrs. Dorothy Ballanca and Miss Louise Morley to discuss the radio program for Defense Bonds which they were about to put on the air.
As I told you, we went on the air at 6:30, but in between, at 5:30, Mrs. Henry Wallace and I went out on the lawn to greet Mrs. Samuel Rosenman, who stood with us while we received the delegates of the National Emergency Housing Conference. I think Mrs. Rosenman felt that there was very good attendance at the conference this year and that all had gone very well.
A few people came to dinner, among them Commander Flanagan, who is starting off for London before long, and Dr. John Studebaker, who had one or two things he wanted to talk about to me. He had a chance to talk to Miss Louise Morley about the International Student Service School at Campobello this summer and was most enthusiastic.
After dinner, Miss Thompson and I flew to New York City and this morning we were up early. We had to reach the broadcasting station in time for a rehearsal before my 10:00 o'clock broadcast.