JANUARY 20, 1938
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—The Congressional reception last night was particularly pleasant. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, or at least seemed to be able to find their own friends. When I came back to walk around I thought everybody was having a good time.
Representative Robert L. Mouton had sent me a marvelous bouquet of camellias. They were flown up from his place in New Orleans. Several people stopped me to say they grew similar flowers in their gardens, or that they liked these so much they thought they must have been chosen to go with my dress. As a matter of fact, I wore a dress to go with the camellias!
Some time ago I visited the Crippled Children's School here in the District of Columbia. It was a gloomy building and in many ways inadequate. This morning I went to the new quarters in a school in the northeast of Washington. The rooms were bright and airy, the children come in a bus and are taken home under the care of an attendant who helps them into their homes.
They looked better physically, and certainly brighter and happier. I don't wonder that Commissioner Hazen is pleased with the new quarters and wanted me to have pictures taken there to encourage the interest of the public in the National Foundation For Infantile Paralysis.
From this school, Mrs. Scheider and I went to lunch with the officials of the Public Works of Art Project in the Treasury Department. The luncheon was given to allow us to see the sculpture which has been sent from all over the country in a competition now being held for stone sculpture to be placed in front of the Apex Building on Constitution Avenue. There was a representative group of Washington official life present, including Mrs. Stone and a group of Senators, besides the people actually interested in the project.
Many of us recalled the meeting four years ago which Mr. Edward Bruce held in his house to consider the plight of the artists and what the government could do, not only to encourage art, but to improve the quality of decoration in public buildings. Mr. Frederic A. Delano presided at this first meeting and the enthusiasm of the group which Mr. Bruce gathered around him has, with the help of Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau, carried this project to heights of undreamed success. Many a little village and town can boast of murals in its post office done by some really good artist. In the future, perhaps, people will point to this period and say: "That was when the government first began to realize that art was a responsibility of the people as a whole."
I came home to a number of appointments and regretted that I could not spend more time looking at the models which had been sent in.
This afternoon a large group from the Conference on the Cause and Cure of War, headed by Miss Josephine Schain, came to tea. I was especially pleased to have Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt come in for a few minutes.