OCTOBER 22, 1937
WASHINGTON, Thursday—The rainstorm in which we left New York yesterday morning seemed to be prevalent throughout the State and judging by the papers this morning, it was fairly universal all through the east, for the south reported heavy rains and damage to crops, just as New York City reported damages to streets and windows.
Our day on the train was fairly uneventful. Attorney General Bennett came into our drawing room just before we reached Albany for a little chat, but most of the day we worked. I only wish I could write long hand as successfully in a swaying train as Mrs. Scheider can typewrite! I suppose I should really practice my typing even more assiduously but it is still slower for me than writing long hand, and I only do it when sheer necessity compels me to tap on these little keys.
Speaking of Erie, Pennsylvania, last evening was interesting, for at the end of the talk, a number of questions were sent up which showed an interest in education and as usual great interest in the question of peace. One woman came up to me afterwards and asked if she might ask a "fanatical" question. She then inquired whether on our trips through the country we were able to gauge the general sentiment of the people on the question of going to war. I told her that of one of the questions most frequently asked by back-platform audiences was: "Mr. President, can you keep us out of war?" And that indicated to me a very widespread interest, for as a rule people only ask questions about such things as are uppermost in their minds—the cost of living, the possible price for the particular agricultural product which is grown in their neighborhood, the public works going on in their state, or some specific project which frequently touches their daily lives.
Many people as they read this morning of Felix Warburg's death found themselves thinking of some occasion on which they served with him on a committee or a board either for business or philantropic purposes. He was active in many things which affected the public welfare and his passing will be felt not only by those who were close to him in his circle of family and friends, but by the community as a whole in which he lived.
We are now on our way to Washington. It warmed my heart when the porter came in to bring us a table to have him say: "How is Miss Anna? She once did me a great favor." That is a rather nice southern custom which preserves the "miss" long after you are married and have children of your own and is there anything pleasanter than finding that someone you love who has stepped out of their usual environment for a time at least, is not forgotten?
I am watching with interest Sir Hubert Wilkins' flight in search of the Russian fliers whom he still hopes to find marooned in the Artic. So much faith and persistence deserves some reward and I hope that he will find them alive.
Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., met me on my arrival in Washington so I could have a chance to see her new house before I settled down to the usual round of visitors this afternoon.