THE UNITED STATES
IT WAS RELATED, at the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the United States Children's Bureau ( 1932), that when Lillian Wald happened to read in the morning paper one day in 1906 about a special session of the President's Cabinet being called to consider the menace of the boll weevil, she turned to her breakfast companion, Mrs. Florence Kelley, and said, "This is interesting. Nothing in the interest of children could or would bring about a special Cabinet meeting, or fix the attention of our legislators. We count the boll weevil, or the lobster, or a fish, or a pig as more important than a child." During the discussion that followed, the hope was expressed that someday there would be a Federal bureau that would be as much concerned about the welfare of children as we are about the menace to the crop of cotton. Mrs. Kelley then talked with Dr. Edward T. Devine, and he sent a telegram to President Theodore Roosevelt, who immediately wired back: "It's a bully idea. Come to Washington and let's see."
Miss Wald and Dr. Devine at once went down to Washington and talked over their suggestion with the President. After consulting with Congressional leaders, Senator Murray Crane, of Massachusetts, introduced a bill authorizing such a bureau. This was followed by hearings held all over the land. President Roosevelt then called the White House Conference on Child Welfare in 1909, which passed a resolution in favor of such a bureau.