JANUARY 19, 1939
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I lunched yesterday with the Woman's Press Club and was happy to meet Mr. Jan Masaryk, son of the first President of Czechoslovakia and former Czech Minister to England, again. Our last lunch together was under somewhat different circumstances. We were guests in the American Minister's house in Ireland. It was horse show week and a very marvelous looking Indian prince was presenting an even more marvelous looking gold cup for some of the day's events. The prince was a guest of honor and they had to explain to me why he were gloves. It must be quite difficult to entertain guests whose religion requires certain careful observances.
I love to watch pageants from a distance and that day still stands out in my mind as a colorful picture, but I could see no reason then and I can see no reason now, for wanting to shake hands with the central figure at such a party. You did not feel that you knew him any better than if you had stood in a corner and watched his face as he talked with other people. I shook his hand, however, and murmured something unintelligible and he looked at me with an expression which I have seen on many of the faces of celebrities—a kind of frozen smile which hides complete indifference to the person before you, whom you don't even see in the kaleidoscope of handshakes!
Mr. Masaryk told us that he had come to breathe the free air of America and reminded us that we can still think our own thoughts and express them without lot or hindrance.
The first afternoon musical took place yesterday at 4:00 o'clock. Mr. Earle Spicer sang three delightful groups of songs and Miss Margaret Blish gave us some very amusing recitations.
We are having another snowstorm today and I was prepared to go up to ride in the riding hall at Fort Myer, but decided the day was too crowded.
I lunched with Mrs. Ickes and as we drove past trees and fences laden with snow to the lovely country place where she and the Secretary live, I found myself wishing that I could stay in the country and go for a walk in the snow.
Back again for fifteen minutes' talk with a most dynamic personality, Mr. D. Sam Cox, who has a tremendous interest in one of the Government homestead projects in North Carolina. Then five minutes drive to the National Broadcasting Company Building and back. Outside the building they have a booth set up with little lines of dimes and I deposited mine and one for the President while Mr. Carlton Smith talked over the local radio to the people of Washington.
I dashed back to the White House to receive the Executive Board of the Federation of Women's Clubs and after that a group of Colgate University students who are completing one semester of work in government officies. They are all interesting looking boys with a keen insight into what they have done here.