AUGUST 31, 1936
HYDE PARK—There is one thing which stands out in all the accounts which I read of the trip which my husband is taking through the drought area. I do not know if it impresses other people as much as it does me, but knowing my husband, I know that when he stresses the "chin-up" attitude of the people. He is getting an impression of indomitable courage. He answered a man who told him, that given cooperation for water conservation, they would manage to pull through with an emphatic: "I bet you will!", and that means nothing will satisfy the administration officials on the trip but the best possible work that the government can do for the solution and help of those who are suffering in the drought area.
I am told that in certain places it is being whispered that the real reason for these droughts is the displeasure of the Lord because human beings are trying to plan production and distribution. This is rather startling for out of the Old Testament one can take one's first lesson in planning ahead. They had famine years even then and suffered until Joseph used his intelligence and put aside enough to feed the people in those years. Our problems are different today, but they still require people to use their own intelligence. There is an old saying—The Lord helps those who help themselves.
Military funerals are always impressive and the services yesterday for Secretary Dern, while very simple were very stirring also. I had a talk with Mrs. Dern in the morning and came away with deep respect for the magnificant courage with which people meet adversity.
It is fortunate that we are not obliged to live in the White House at present, for everywhere you turn there are open spaces with wires hanging through them. The furniture is covered and put away or piled up in the middle of the floor, and when I asked Mrs. Nesbitt if she could be ready to do certain formal things in the middle of September, she responded as she always does: "Of course, we will be ready for whatever we have to do", but I detected a certain note of dispair in her voice.
My own room was very comfortable and I saw the few people who came to see me there, and Mrs. Scheider and I left again by an evening train. We are back in Hyde Park today and very glad of the lovely weather as we plan to have a long day in the open.