DECEMBER 16, 1937
We have had last night and this afternoon some really beautiful music in the White House. Last night Mr. Richard Tauber could have gone on for many hours and held his audience spellbound. The young American violinist, Miss Ruth Posselt, was not only a joy to look at, but a great pleasure to listen to as well. The two were a perfect combination.
At the end as people said goodnight one friend remarked: "You can't live up to this concert for the rest of the year!" This made me feel that he had really enjoyed it! One very musical friend of my acquaintance insisted that she was going back into the supper room where the artists have something to eat after the concert, to tell them how much she had enjoyed it.
I am always glad when people who are often phlegmatic, show that they really enjoyed it. It must be a real gratification to the artists who spend so much of their lives entertaining audiences when they get a warm response. So often you feel that an audience is applauding in a perfunctory way out of politeness, and yet I imagine that is due often to shyness and uncertainty for as a nation we do not let ourselves go very easily in showing our enthusiasm, and many people are not sure of their musical taste.
When I went out this morning along the bridle path, it seemed like an entirely different world. Everything was gray and misty. It had rained and frozen, and on the way across the bridge I saw one reckless gentleman put on his brakes suddenly and spin completely around. Luckily no one was near enough to do him any harm or to be harmed by him, but it served as a good warning to me and I crept along the road.
The top of the monument was enveloped in mist, two planes zoomed over our heads and were shortly lost in the low ceiling. The leafless tress and the gray light had the quality you sometimes see in a Japanese painting, very beautiful but so different from yesterday when the sun shone and the sky was blue.
All of the out of town guests who stayed with us for the Cabinet dinner left this morning and two or three ladies arrived for the luncheon which I give every year to the wives of the members of the Supreme Court. Afterwards Miss Ruby Elzy, who has a most beautiful soprano voice, gave us a short program of songs, which we all greatly enjoyed.
This afternoon the Goodwill Industries here which are doing a very good piece of work, are to hold an antique exhibition and a sale of dolls. I hope this will attract people's attention to the work which they are doing. I am dropping in to buy a doll which will I am sure find a home at Christmas time. Then home to see an old friend at tea.
The first editorial in this morning's Times was one which I felt many of our citizens would be interested in reading. It struck a fundamental note which many of the women in this country, I feel sure, are anxious to see emphasized. War anywhere as a method of settling difficulties should be looked upon as too antiquated for civilized nations to use as a weapon.