DECEMBER 23, 1936
WASHINGTON—I was met at the airport yesterday afternoon by my little daughter-in-law, Ruth, and as soon as I came in Elliott's little girl, Chandler and the baby, Elliott, Junior, were brought in to my sitting room. For a five months old youngster the baby is the most responsive baby I have ever seen. He smiles broadly at every one and never cries when strangers approach him. Chandler is also a very friendly youngster particularly with the gentlemen, and before she had been in the White House an hour, she had made herself entirely at home and was running about, even going into her grandfather's study twice when matters of importance were being discussed!
Rehearsal was going on for our stunt in the evening, so I had to dash down stairs and run through my part, and come back and dress for a seven o'clock dinner.
The President started off for the Gridiron Club dinner at just about the time we sat down for dinner at home but as our actual party didn't start until nine o'clock, our stunts were not started until about nine-thirty and we were not finished as soon as the gentlemen. This was the year for the newspaper women's clubs to provide the entertainment and they did it with keen humour.
Women are said to be devoid of humour about themselves, but we all seem to live through these parties in a hilarious mood even though they show up our little weaknesses and make fun of our foibles.
This morning seemed to be one constant succession of departing guests and at eleven o'clock I had the first press conference which we have had for a long time. I asked Miss Lavinia Engle who is connected with the work of the Social Security Board, to come over and explain some of the things in the Social Security Act which are not easily understood. In my mail I have been receiving inquiries of every kind, some of them asking why Federal bank employees were not included, others demanding to know why domestic servants and farm labor were not included under unemployment insurance, etc. I felt that a little writing up of this legislation would be helpful all around.
There were guests for luncheon, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Matson of Toledo, Ohio, who were such kind hosts to Mrs. Scheider and me when we were there last spring; Mr. Eric Gugler, who was the consultant architect on doing over the Executive Office, and Mr. Clarence Pickett, of the Friends Service Committee. After lunch, Mr. Gugler and I tried to decide on the right covering to be put on the new sofa and chairs in the Red Room. I confess that when I am choosing something for the White House and not for my own individual pleasure, I am really nervous and I want all the help I can get.