JANUARY 12, 1938
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—I have been getting appeals lately from a number of states where traveling libraries have been started by the WPA. Some of these libraries are transported from place to place on pack horses, some of them carried on the backs of individual workers, some of them by automobile. The universal cry is for books and more books.
I wonder if it would not be possible for the Departments of Education of every state, to arrange for individuals and libraries having books they can spare, to send them to a central place from which they could be distributed to these traveling libraries?
A house cleaning of books, magazines and papers should be undertaken in every home, school and library every six months. I am sure far more books could be put into circulation with a little good organization work.
Both the President and I had to work last night, and so, after dinner, I suggested that our guests who were staying in the house, might like to take a sightseeing trip through the White House and the Executive Offices. The evening is really a very good time to do this, for you are free from crowds and can loiter as long as you wish along the way. However, I must confess when they had not returned by 10:30, I began to wonder if they had been locked in somewhere by mistake and I asked the usher to ascertain where they were.
They came back full of interest and especially appreciative of the WPA paintings which hang in the Executive Offices.
Our first snowstorm gladdened my eyes when I looked out last night at the Washington Monument. That is always the last thing I do at night and I begin my day by looking at it in the morning. It would be impossible to live in the White House and forget the Father of our country, for his monument is the one thing you never lose sight of if you look out of any of the south windows.
This morning there was a mixture of rain and snow and I was glad I did not have to go out until I was to start for the French Embassy. There I met a representative group from the Federation of Women's Clubs, headed by Mrs. Roberta Lawson; Congressman Edith Nourse Rogers and Miss Katharine Lenroot, representing the Children's Bureau. We were there for a presentation by Mrs. Cari B. Ilig, head of The Women's Field Army for the Control of Cancer, of a specially bound volume of Eve Curie's life of her mother, Marie Curie. The ceremony was brief but the short speeches were spoken from the heart, for every woman there recognized the greatness of Marie Curie the woman, as well as Marie Curie, the scientist. Each of us wanted to express to the French Ambassador the admiration which is felt by women the world over.
From there I went to the annual luncheon given by Mrs. Garner, which is always one of the pleasant entertainments of the season. Soon the afternoon's appointments will begin.