DECEMBER 15, 1937
Breakfast was early this morning, at seven-twenty to be exact, because one guest had to leave the house at seven-forty to catch a train, and another guest was arriving at seven-thirty. As I saw one out of the front door, I greeted the one who was entering, and spent about an hour over the breakfast table.
My incoming guest was Mrs. Louis McHenry Howe, whom I had not seen since I saw her daughter, Mrs. Robert Baker, and her small grandson in Urbana, Illinois, in November while on my lecture trip, so we had many things to talk about.
The day was so glorious that I got out at eleven-fifteen and had an hour of really perfect outdoor exercise for "Dot" and the other horse both enjoyed themselves as much as their riders.
Miss Vera Brittain, the English writer came to lunch with me. My only other guest besides our household, was Mrs. Eleanor Patterson who would I knew, be interested in meeting this Englishwoman who had pretty well covered this country on her lecture tour, except for the west coast. This is not her first trip as she was here in 1934, but she told us that she found far more interest than before in her subject "War and Peace." There is no question but we are all more conscious of world conditions today and of the menace of war, and therefore more actively interested in preserving peace.
We are all deeply concerned over the news from China and the loss of life on the Yangtse River boats. One's own personal worries sink into insignificance when one realizes the magnitude of the sorrows that war can bring not only to the nations who are actively engaged in conflict, but to the innocent bystanders going about their daily rounds.
A succession of visitors this afternoon and shortly a number of guests will be arriving to spend the night for tonight we are to have our first official dinner of the season. This is the dinner given for the Cabinet and after it there will be a musical.
This afternoon Mr. Henry Junge, who for so many years has been representing Steinway and Sons in making the arrangements for White House musicals, spent half an hour with me going over his lists for the winter. He warned me in advance that before we could devote ourselves to tea and pleasant conversation he must tell me about all the people who have kindly offered to provide us with entertainment this winter. The President and I are deeply grateful for these offers and only regret that the number of entertainments given at the White House makes it impossible in any one season to accept more than a very limited number of the kind offers which are made.
Mr. Junge hates to refuse them and so do we and therefore, I am taking this opportunity to say publicly how deeply grateful we are for the kindness of the artists throughout the country.