MAY 13, 1938
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday afternoon two groups of people were received here. First a small group was brought to us by Congressman Mary Norton, the Women's Auxilliary of the B'nai B'rith, followed a little later by the Daughters of the Confederacy. As one of the ladies in the second group went by, she asked if she might return to the East Room and play "Dixie." I assured her I would be delighted. It may be my Georgia grandmother in me, but I have always had a partiality for this most stirring of songs.
A quiet evening, which enabled me to spend a good part of it alone with my friend, Mrs. George Huntington, who is staying here for a few days. I can't say, however, that we were entirely peaceful until Jimmy had gone off to make a speech to the Men's Club of St. Thomas' Church, and Franklin, Jr., who had driven up with two friends for the afternoon, had started back to Charlottesville.
I have just had a letter from a community group in Washington who are planning to give Sigmund Romberg's light opera: "The Student Prince." It will be presented under the auspices of the Community Center on two different days in May. The group is entirely unpaid except for a few musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra. The reason I am so interested in this venture is that it seems to forecast a greater community interest in music in this country.
Not everyone may be able to go to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City or to other operas in other large cities, but amateur groups [unclear term marked] producing really good music, forecast a public which will know more about music. This means that the great artists will find more intelligent understanding and appreciation of their art throughout the country.
My brother and one other guest had breakfast with me. It is a glorious day with a feeling of October in the air, or, as one of the doormen expressed it, "The air feels like the mountains today."
At 10:30 I rode along the Potomac. Miss MurieI Lester, a very interesting Englishwoman, came with Secretary of Labor Perkins to lunch with me. Miss Lester is lecturing for the International Institute. Because she has recently returned from China and Japan, she is filled with the realization that individuals and not governments will have to bring about peace. She gave me an example of one of the ways in which we will have to pay for peace when she remarked that so many things which deal death to human beings bring profit to other human beings.
Mr. Ralph Borsodi and Mr. Chauncey Stillman also came to lunch to tell me of their ideas on community building, and they interested me very much. I hope to know a little more about their project from actual observation.
Immediately after lunch, I went over to the Women's Army and Navy League's rummage sale. It was so crowded I felt they would have as successful a year as they had last year and that the space I took up was needed far more than my company!
The first real garden party takes place this afternoon.