JANUARY 30, 1942
WASHINGTON, Thursday—I had a snowy day yesterday and skidded around the Long Island roads, so that I really had some moments of apprehension when my daughter-in-law, Ethel, said: "Perhaps you will be snowed in and we can keep you here." However, I reached my departing train in ample time and was on time for my train connection in New York City and in Philadelphia.
Mr. Ellis Gimbel has given two awards this year, one to go to a Philadelphia woman, and one to be awarded on a national scope. In Philadelphia, they felt that Mrs. William Clothier had done an outstanding job for the community for more than twenty years, as a leader in civic and charitable undertakings, overseas and in this country. She certainly richly deserves the honor. Though she accepted it modestly, stating that she was but a symbol of those who served on the State Defense Council, it is a well known fact that those who are symbols have much to do with creating the things they symbolize.
The second award is the national award and is, as a rule, given to an individual, a woman who has stood out nationally in some way. But this year it was given to a family, an outstanding American family doing a job for the nation's defense. By good luck, the family's name is Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Jones and their four children.
So, even in their names they typify the everyday families all over this country, who in greater and lesser degree are doing the same kind of job for the victory of our nation in this war. I hope that their recognition will give a lift to many other families in this country, who, reading about them, will think: "Why, there we stand ourselves, and we are being recognized as essential to the winning of this war."
It is not just in their names that the Joneses resemble other people. To begin with, they are a farm family. The father runs a dairy farm, the mother has brought up four children and runs a big house. Still, she had time to take part in the activities in her community and is a member of the defense council. The older son is a private in the Army, the two girls and the younger brother are all actually doing things which have a bearing on the war effort. It seems to me that Mr. Gimbel has a grand idea in honoring, through the recognition of a family group, the families all over the country who are making similar efforts.
This morning I talked with Dr. John Studebaker, of the Office of Education, and with many people in his office, on the conception of the job we all must do together in civilian defense.