JANUARY 20, 1937
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—As I was coming out of the homesteaders' meeting yesterday, one of the men stopped me and said: "I wish you could come down to my house, I've made a lot of new furniture and the house is looking very nice." I can't help thinking that there is a personal satisfaction in feeling that you have in your own home things which have been made by your own hands. I have always felt that that was one reason why our forefathers often made really lovely things. They did not work under a strain or in a great hurry for they were making things which would have to be used in their homes for many years to come, and every thing they did was done with both use and beauty in mind.
A little of that feeling is being recaptured in places where again people are making for their own use, with their own hands, things they are going to live with. Next time I go to Arthurdale I hope to have time to visit a number of houses, and see not only the furniture but some of the new babies who are growing up so quickly. One man handed me a photograph of a young lady whose middle name is Eleanor and I think she must be at least two years old, though she was born on the project.
Mrs. Scheider and I got into Washington last night at eleven-forty. We dined on the train with some of the other people who went down with us and put in five hours of uninterrupted work, a rare thing for us and one we rejoiced in.
People always say to me: "Why do you think so much of uninterrupted time?", and then I realize that I lay particular stress on it, because between the telephone and the numbers of people constantly coming to ask me questions, I rarely have fifteen minutes without an interruption in the White House. I have learned to disentangle my mind from whatever I am doing, answer the questions and go back to the task in hand, but try as you will, your train of thought is interrupted.
A press conference this morning at eleven o'clock and before that at least ten people in and out of my room, each trying to adjust their particular difficulties. I hope everyone gets met at the trains, I hope the right people get their right seats, I hope I haven't forgotten my best friends, but I realize that all these are but hopes and much like our hopes about the weather! Time alone will tell what we have done and not done about tomorrow!
When you think it over, the most important thing is that the President's speech at this second Inauguration shall carry on the spirit which began with his speech in 1933.