OCTOBER 12, 1938
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The newspapers inform me that this is my birthday and everyone has been most kind in sending me telegrams and remembrances of every kind. I think as one grows older the things to be appreciated most are the remembrances of one's friends. Certainly many of them have been more than kind in their thoughts of me today.
I have just returned from a very delightful party at the Women's Press Club. Because it was my birthday they were very kind and did not ask me to make a speech. However, I am afraid that I made several in answering their questions.
A guest who came to see me just before I went over there, told me the story of the gentleman who was a real orator and, in making his speech, looked up at the sky and completely forgot his audience. When he came back to earth, he found all his audience had left except one hunched-up gentleman directly in front of him. The speaker, somewhat mystified, looked around and said: "I am glad that you at least appreciated my oratory." To which the hunched-up gentleman replied: "I am no audience, I am just the next speaker." This was a good reminder to me not to forget my audience. I kept my eagle eye on them so that they would not slip out and if they were noticeably bored, I could stop talking immediately.
The weather is like summer and when we rode along the Potomac this morning, both our horses and ourselves actually suffered from the heat. It is a glorious month and I envy my husband who will spend next week on the Hudson River and enjoy all the beauties of the autumn season up there where the coloring of the trees is even more glorious than it is down here.
Last year I put off my lecture trip until November and found that was a little too near the social and Christmas season. This year we are taking this lecture trip in October and I realize that seeing the month largely through the windows of a train is not quite as enjoyable as seeing it on the Hudson River.
I am looking at the headlines of a paper just now which announces that Mr. Lewis of the CIO has agreed to quit as leader of his labor group if Mr. Green of the AF of L will quit as leader of his group. Both of these men are so able and have so much to give that it seems a pity that differences between their groups can not be reconciled without sacrificing the services of the two leaders. It would seem that when the objectives of two groups are similar, the methods by which they are to arrive at their objectives ought to be reconcilable even if each group sacrificed something. How difficult it is for us to see beyond individuals and our own personalities to the best way of achieving our aims. One can only say that the objective of having labor work together as a unit again is worth much sacrifice.