JANUARY 2, 1940
WASHINGTON, Monday—We had a very pleasant dinner last night, after which Miss Cornelia Stabler gave us some delightful monologues. Her long one on "The Refugee" was particularly touching. I think all of us were glad to have it followed by a very light-hearted comparison of a girl saying good night to her mother after a party in the 80's or 90's, and a present day girl doing the same thing in quite a different way.
Afterward, Mr. Pare Lorenz showed us a movie which he has written and directed and which is taken from Dr. Paul de Kruif's book, "Fight for life." I found the picture interesting, but I doubt whether it will have a great popular appeal. However, for the sake of the interest which we should all have in this subject of maternity and infant care, I sincerely hope that large audiences see it.
When the President offered his annual toast to the United States on the stroke of midnight, many of us drank a little private toast, I think, in gratitude to a kindly Providence which has seen fit to spare the nation from participation in war and, therefore, in mass tragedy. Personally, I was grateful for two fairly narrow escapes in our own family. Ethel is practically well again, though she is still hobbling a little about the house, and Franklin, Jr., who acquired a little cold to add to his discomfort, is still more or less an invalid. Both of them, however, will look quite presentable in the course of the next few days and feel much more like themselves.
Our party here is beginning to break up. Major Hooker left this morning. Johnny and Anne are going back on the night train to Boston. Anna and John are taking the midnight train and going to work in New York City. The family is growing smaller, though some of them remain and return off and on, and the grandchildren will be with us for some time.
I must tell you of a number of interesting books which have come to me within the last few days. One of them is particularly delightful and has impressed me because of my necessity to think a good deal about food. This is a small book called: "Honor Among Cooks," with some recipes in it which I have been anxious to obtain for some time. Then, to jump to something entirely different, there is a new Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, which should be extremely interesting to anyone wanting authoritative information on the Jewish people and their religion.