FEBRUARY 11, 1938
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Last evening, for the second time this winter, I went to the theatre in Washington. This time I saw, "Save Me The Waltz," produced by Mr. Max Gordon. It is a comedy by Miss Katharine Dayton, and those who have enjoyed her humor in her other writings, will find it again in the lines of this play.
Everyone in our party keenly enjoyed the clever lines and the amusing and appealing situations. There is just enough unreality about the whole "Prisoner of Zenda" story to camouflage the truths which are driven home. Most of us hate to be lectured, that is why propaganda books and propaganda plays make so little headway and do so little to promote the cause for which they are written. However, when a play is amusing with an improbable yet amusing story, which may be as old as the hills, the underlying truths are hard to miss.
The casting is good and the acting is excellent from top to bottom. I was particularly interested in seeing Jane Wyatt, whom we have known since she was a child. There were others in the cast whom I watched with interest because of acquaintance and friendship. I think it is entirely fair to say that all the parts are well played.
There is nothing deeply stirring in the play. You will not come away starry-eyed or moved to the depths of your soul, but you will come away with a sense of relaxation and entertainment and a few very pertinent things to think about.
Late to bed, as Mr. Pepys would say, for after the play I brought a few friends back to eat and to sing and to play various musical instruments.
At 10:00 o'clock this morning, Dr. Thomas Parran, the Surgeon General, and I went to visit Freedman's Hospital. This hospital is a government hospital under the Department of the Interior. It is one of the two important training centers for colored nurses and Howard University Medical School uses it for the training of student doctors.
Unlike some of the hospitals in the District of Columbia, its significance is greater than its usefulness here in Washington. The opportunities for the Negro being very meagre in other institutions, the rest of the country has a particular interest in the work of this institution.
One might suppose only the colored race had much at stake, but if every community would take cognisance of its health and sanitation problems, they would soon find out there is no dividing line between the health needs of different groups. They merge together and affect each other. What is of interest to one group is of interest to all.
I feel I could write a rather lurid book on what I saw this morning, but I am going to get more accurate information and think it over before I decide what I think really needs to be told about this particular government institution.