FEBRUARY 12, 1938
WASHINGTON, Friday—I had a very pleasant luncheon with Mrs. Roper, wife of the Secretary of Commerce, after which Mrs. Scheider and I took a train for Philadelphia.
No one will ever know how grateful I am for train trips. I had three letters which required time to be answered. One was the monthly article for the NY State section of the "Digest", the publication of the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee, one was a group of questions, which the Women's Division had sent over for their question and answer page in this same magazine, and the other was material for a broadcast which Dr. O. Latham Hatcher and I are going to do tomorrow. Somehow or other, no uninterrupted time to attend to things like the above ever seems to come my way, so I am grateful for a closed compartment on a train now and then.
My grandson, Bill Roosevelt, and his mother met me at the station and, while Mrs. Scheider dashed for the next train back to Washington, I proceeded to their new home. There Bill proudly showed me his playroom in which electric trains covered most of the floor. Most of the little boys and girls I know who have electric trains, rely upon their elders to operate them. Not so with Bill. He knows all about the switches and turns them on and off himself, and he never leaves when he is through without disconnecting the electric cord. Here is a very responsible young man growing up under distinctly wise guidance.
After dinner, Mrs. Winsor and I drove to the church where the meeting of the National Negro Congress in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was held. The church was packed and I was not prepared for the tremendous crowd outside.
It surged around us as we went in and, for a few minutes, I thought I had completely lost my companion. Long practice has taught me to move quickly in a crowd, and, of course, policemen, opened a pathway. The pathway closed in behind me, so I had to stop at the door and look for a blonde head in the background. Finally, I sent my attendants back to clear a path for her.
As usual, the music was beautiful. The young boy and girl who read excerpts from the Emancipation Proclamation and from a speech of Frederick Douglass, did so with great feeling.
This morning, before I left to return to Washington, the usual reporters were at the door. One young man filled my heart with joy when he said: "Can't you think of something interesting to tell us? We can't think of any more questions to ask you."
This gave me the opportunity to remark that, in all probability, his readers felt as weary of manufactured news as he did.
On the 11:00 o'clock plane, which I took out of Camden, were Captain and Mrs. Rhode, so I was able to take them to their hotel here and have a little talk before returning to the White House for a large formal luncheon.