MARCH 8, 1950
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Yesterday morning actor Robert Young came to show me the certificates the Inter-Industry Highway Safety Committee is getting out to encourage teenagers, who have the highest rate of accidents, to drive with more judgment and less speed. This certificate is an agreement between parent and son or daughter. In it both take a certain amount of responsibility. The parents agree if the children do not live up to their part of the bargain to remove the right to use the family car and to make them earn that right all over again. The young people on their part, agree not to drink or to drive with those who do drink, and to observe the usual rules of safety and stay within the law. The young people are given good conduct cards which are withdrawn if they do not keep to their part of the agreement. It seems to me a very good effort in the direction of more safety for everybody concerned and I hope it will prove highly successful.
At noon I went to a luncheon under the auspices of the Ethical Culture Society to discuss the problem of the proper kind of bill providing for Federal aid to education. I was hopeful that this would be discussed entirely on its own merits without reference to the fact that it previously had been plunged into the realm of a religious controversy, because it really has nothing whatever to do with our religious beliefs. I know, of course, that some people have a feeling that education cannot be carried on satisfactorily and accomplish a really complete job unless it is tied to religious education, but surely that does not mean this education must be given either by the school or in the school. The school can teach spiritual and moral values without actually teaching the special religion which can be taught by home and church.
When we talk about Federal aid to education we talk about aid to schools that are open to everyone, schools so run that every child attending has an equal opportunity to receive the best education he is capable of assimilating. I hope it will be possible in this session of Congress to make at least a beginning towards achieving these ends and that we can completely separate religious education from the discussion of aid for public, tax-supported schools.
In the afternoon I went over to the Rosenberg galleries for a hurried preview of the pictures which are being exhibited tomorrow for the benefit of Greenwich House. With a number of students from the art school in Greenwich House, I was photographed before various paintings. I enjoyed the comments of some of the young people and as I looked at them I wondered how many of them would someday perhaps achieve artistic fame themselves.
In the evening I spoke at the Friends' Seminary which ended a fairly busy day.