DECEMBER 8, 1937
Off the train this morning at seven-thirty and just a word with my little cousin before she started off to school, as she was breakfasting in my sitting room.
The usual first interviews with everybody and the settling of various domestic questions which always arise when you are away for a short time, and then I dashed down to see the new furniture in the formal Blue Room on the first floor. We have had so much discussion as to just how this furniture should be recovered that I was very anxious to see it. I am very glad that it has turned out to be so dignified and really very lovely. Now that I have seen it I am deeply grateful to Eric Gugler and the Fine Arts Committee who have advised us, so patiently. I hope that many people will like it and the new hangings in the East Room as well.
My husband seemed very cheerful and while they are still discussing what shall happen to his tooth, they have found that there is no infection in the bone and I imagine that with care it will gradually heal.
At eleven o'clock my first press conference which inaugurates the regular weekly contacts with the press, was attended by a Japanese woman, Mrs. Waka Yamada who had asked to come. She is a well known writer and told us through an interpreter, that for twenty-five years she has headed the Mothers League of Japan fighting for better care for mothers and children. She told us that at the last session of the Diet they had passed a law granting aid to mothers of children up to thirteen years and that now she was over here to explain that the mothers of Japan had no feeling but that of friendship for the mothers of China, and that they wished to end the conflict between the two nations as soon as possible. I imagine that many a Chinese woman could be found to echo these same sentiments.
We had a particularly large representation this morning at the press conference, and one representative told me as she went out that she represented an Hawaiian paper; another was a correspondent from England, particularly interested in youth movements. She had apparently suffered from shyness and had not asked me her questions in open conference! I told her, however, that I hoped the development of youth hostels and less expensive travel in foreign countries, was making it possible for many of our young people to know young people of other countries. On the whole it seems to me history is being taught more realistically today without quite so much nationalistic color. As a result I feel that the youth of today is far more interested in peace and the methods by which we can improve our international understanding. They will be more intelligent workers in the cause of peace than my generation was at the same age.