JANUARY 21, 1938
WASHINGTON, Thursday—The members of the Cause and Cure of War Conference who are meeting here, had tea with me yesterday afternoon and I attended their banquet last night. I wish I had Mrs. Catt's ability to think up something really amusing and original to say on a subject which I have talked over with the same group a number of times!
Mrs. Ruth Bryan Rohde also gave us something original to think about in her talk. It began by pointing out that we had much to learn from a little country like Denmark and that it would be easy for us to understand our lessons in cooperatives if we studied those in Denmark. They would not be scattered over such a wide area and we could employ their experiences as laboratory tests.
In one of the morning papers there was a lovely picture of the entrance to the White House buried in snow. This morning I decided to walk for the first time in many weeks and discovered this perfectly ordinary exercise, which for many years I took every day of my life, had become rather an adventure. How strangely our habits change and what creatures of habit we are! I used to sally forth every morning and go to market before I went up to teach in the Todhunter School. Now I find it an adventure to go out at 11:00 o'clock and walk four blocks.
I lunched with Mrs. Swanson, the wife of the Secretary of the Navy, who gave a delightful luncheon at the Women's National Democratic Club. This club is very homelike. I think the women here in Washington who started it, have been very wise, for they have tried to draw in memberships from all over the country. It gives Democratic women the feeling that they can always find a friendly homelike atmosphere when they come to Washington.
I came across an article by John Palmer Gavit in one of the February magazines, which I wanted to applaud in various places. He points out, in a general way, that we parents are responsible when our children grow up with racial or religious prejudices. He tells one story which made me chuckle. It runs as follows:
"Once, many years ago, to an old Scotch born carpenter I boasted with scant tact of at least ten identifiable ancestors on the Mayflower and that every drop of my blood had been on American soil for upward of two centuries. He replied, chuckling, `Ay, na doot tis verra wonderful that y'r forbears should have been starved oot o' th' auld country sae lang syne, while mine could stay and I coom o' ma ane accord. Hoot, mon! Tell me this—how many nights sat ye up deciden' ye'd no' be born Chinese?' "