DECEMBER 8, 1942
WASHINGTON, Monday—Last evening I had an hour's visit with nine honor juniors of Colgate University, who have been using their last semester to study various government departments, with special emphasis on the activities of Congress. Dr. Paul S. Jacobsen Associate Professor of Political Science, and his wife, were with them as usual. I found them an extremely nice group of young boys.
They all expect to enter the service almost immediately, and this may be the last group Colgate will be able to send until the end of the war. These boys, I am sure, will profit by their experience, both now and in the after-war period. They were all very much impressed by the size of the job almost any government agency covers, and the fact that all the men they worked with seemed to know, not only their own particular job, but to have an understanding of its relationship to the other work being done in the Government.
Boys of this kind will be good material in our armed forces and will see that the toughening process which comes from thinking through problems will not be neglected while the process of physical toughening up is going on.
This is a busy day. A long meeting with the press this morning, then a talk with Miss Hilda Smith, who has been carrying on with the Workers' Service Project in the Works Project Administration. She is gradually working out a program for the future which will be permanent and not of the temporary charcter that many Works Project Administration programs have been.
I am lunching with a friend and then going to a meeting with Charles Taft's group in the Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services, so that they may ask me questions to find out whether I observed anything abroad of value to them.
I received a letter yesterday from a gentleman whose son I came to know on my trip across the water. He was a member of the crew that had taken one of our planes across and was returning to go on with his work. We talked of a great many things and he told me so much about his father that, on arriving home, I wrote his father of our meeting. One part of his answer is so typical of the American scene that I want to quote it here:
"Knowing your wide interest in this melting pot which is our country, I'm going to enclose a business card and an advertising card of the small corporation of which I am a member.
"Here we have a Bostonian with Irish and French Huguenot ancestors, a New Yorker who is proud to worship the God of his fathers as a Jew and an American, and a native of Barbados whose father was an English sugar planter and whose mother was Scotch. Our five associates—employees would not be the correct term—are likewise of diversified antecedents. Yet we work together in perfect harmony."