APRIL 17, 1944
WASHINGTON, Sunday—On Friday evening, I spoke on the radio here for the Treasury Department, and then attended two celebrations of Pan-American Day. The first was held at the Labor Department Auditorium. Many government workers who have an interest in South and Central America because of their work in the Coordinator's Office and the State Department were present.
Afterwards I went to a concert at the Pan-American Building, which was attended by many of the diplomats. The young pianist from Cuba, Lieutenant Jorge Bolet, played, and I enjoyed again his great artistic gift. Our own Navy Band orchestra is excellent, and I am sure that everyone had a very pleasant evening. The Secretary of State spoke over the air and I hope we will all heed his plea for unity among the nations in this hemisphere. It is of vital importance to us and to all our neighbors.
I realize that my interest in all things Pan-American is greater since I have had the pleasure of meeting more Americans from among our neighbors. I certainly was happy to have an opportunity to welcome the members of the Inter-American Commission of Women here at tea on Saturday afternoon.
I believe that this is one of the largest representative gatherings they have had, and the ladies are all leaders in their own countries. Their particular interest is how the women of the different Americans [originally: Americas] can cooperate to bring about better understanding throughout the world after the war, and how to foster better cooperation in this hemisphere which may be of use to the women and children of the world.
Last evening the delegates to the Association for Childhood Education Conference met in the east room, and I was very glad to hear Dr. Margaret Mead's address. She brought out a point which I think we must not forget. She said that this country of ours is unique because we have always expected every generation of young people to do better than their parents. Therefore, our approach to our schools has been somewhat different because it was through the schools that we expected this opportunity to come to our young people.
In nearly all the countries of the world, parents know more than their children and even in some portions of our own country that is the case! By and large, however, we take it for granted that our children are going ahead of their elders, and will know more than their elders have known. That creates a different attitude and gives us a different approach towards our youth. In short, it is what makes us "the country of opportunity."