APRIL 23, 1958
PITTSBURGH—The report entitled "The Challenge to America, Its Economic and Social Aspects," just issued by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, should be studied carefully. The distinguished panel that has signed it, I am sure, did not do so with everybody's agreement on every detail, but they all must have felt that it not only gives a program for the moment, to combat the recession, but that it tries to look into the future and to outline a long term approach to the economic and social aspects of our life.
The report has not been afraid to envision great changes and hopes.
I like the opening paragraph of the foreward, which says: "If the American nation were to assess the deeper meaning of its experience, it might concentrate it in one word: hope. From its beginning, this was a society which derived its impetus from the faith that tomorrow would be better than today, that striving, energy and conviction had a necessary reward."
This study has great value, I think, because it gives confidence in practical possibilities while voicing a vision of a better life for all in the future. The combination is important. The fact that people who differ have something concrete before them on which to base their arguments, and therefore that we as a people will have the benefit of many different ideas brought before us, is vital to the future growth of this country.
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Everyone will have seen with regret the news of President Hoover's operation, and I am sure that there is, throughout the nation, a desire to send him our very best wishes for a rapid recovery.
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Last Sunday evening, at the dinner celebrating the 10th anniversary of the New Lincoln School in New York, I was much impressed by Dr. William Heard Kilpatrick's summary of what progressive education really means. I wish his speech could be broadcast widely, because it gave the objectives of education better than I have heard them stated in a long time.
I believe that most of us remember certain people along our educational path who have provided us with inspiration, and I am sure Dr. Kilpatrick has done this for innumerable students.
In my own case, Mlle. Souvestre did much for me when I was 15, and at a much later period in my life Mrs. Elizabeth von Hesse, a speech teacher, did a great deal to give me more confidence in approaching audiences.
Education never comes to an end as long as we are alive. I imagine all of us could name persons at different stages of our lives who contributed to the ongoing education which is the only thing that keeps people interesting, since one becomes extremely boring if one stops growing and changing within oneself.