JUNE 25, 1938
HYDE PARK, Friday—We continue to have beautiful days, and Mrs. Scheider is beginning to feel as I do, that it is a terrible deprivation to be cooped up in a hospital room when you could sit outside and enjoy the country. I was delighted, therefore, to find that when she sat up yesterday, she felt quite well and when the doctor told her this morning that by Tuesday of next week I could surely bring her home. She will be glad and I will be glad. In the first place, I miss her very much, and in the second place, when you want to see a person fairly often, it takes up a good deal of time to drive twenty minutes each way from here to the hospital. So having her home, even with rules which for a time will limit her activities, is going to be a great joy.
All yesterday afternoon it looked as though we might have a thunderstorm. My grandchildren were most anxious that I should go in swimming with them, for they leave today on a short visit. They had one dip before I returned from the hospital and were dressed and playing the piano, "chopsticks" being a great favorite when they are together. But, as soon as I came in, they clamored for a second swim, so we all went in and had much fun together. Eleanor has learned to swim under water and is very proud of this new accomplishment.
At the big house yesterday, everyone was busy working on the President's speech for tonight. Typewriters were clicking everywhere and pages were being brought for re-reading. Just before dinner, my husband handed me a finished copy, so I had a chance to see it. I shall listen tonight with a great deal of interest, for I know only too well that there will be a great many changes between what I read last night and the actual talk over the air.
The measure which has just been adopted in Germany, whereby every able-bodied man and woman will be obligated for short-term service to the nation to accomplish nationally urgent tasks, is a very interesting departure in government. This has been, of course, an accepted duty during wartime periods in every nation. Except for the World War, as far as we are concerned, these duties have always been performed voluntarily, and even during the World War where civilians were concerned, they were performed by our citizens on a voluntary basis. I would far rather see such service given on this basis, and I think in a democracy the actual active participation of any citizen in the functions of his government could be really considered a service rendered to the state. If people give of their time conscientiously and perform tasks that benefit their communities, they are doing just what Germany has termed "nationally urgent tasks."