FEBRUARY 9, 1939
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Mrs. Morgenthau, wife of the Secretary of the Treasury, had her annual luncheon for me yesterday and enlivened it by a novel table decoration. These arrangements always fascinate me. At Mrs. Hull's luncheon, I much admired the charming little Dresden china figures and ornaments decorating her table.
Mrs. Morgenthau laid out the center of her table as nearly like the White House rose gardens as possible and up and down the greensward placed six authentically dressed dolls representing various "First Ladies." Each of them was there to bring me a message reflecting the years of her experience as the wife of a President and the verses were in character and pertinent to present day problems.
Some of the ladies, Martha Washington and Rachel Jackson, for instance, never lived in the White House, but they have a message for us today nevertheless. I wish we all knew more about these women, many of whom were real influences in one way or another in their day. One of Washington's best newspaper women did a series of articles on President's wives and, much to my regret, I have never seen them very widely printed. The other day a well-known author sent me a sketch on Mrs. Monroe, which I think he had done for the radio. It certainly gave me much information and I think would be of interest to many women.
Yesterday afternoon we had a musicale here at which Freda Gronowetter played the cello charmingly and Charlotte Hamilton, a contralto, sang. Both gave us a delightful hour. Afterwards, at tea, I had a chance to talk to a number of people, among them some Englishwomen who spoke with great interest of the visit in early summer of their King and Queen. One more appointment at 5:30 and then a swim.
At 8:00 o'clock we started for our annual dinner with the Vice-President and Mrs. Garner. We had, as usual, a very pleasant evening. Mr. Gene Buck, who always provides the entertainment, produced a marvellous magician, Mr. John Mulholland, who performed seemingly impossible feats before our eyes. There was also Fred Waring's band and a chorus which the leader told me represented 28 states. All the musicians seemed young and they were all Americans. The emphasis was largely on doing the unusual. One boy performed a dance while playing a saxophone, which really proved him to be an acrobat of the first water.
When I woke this morning I felt as though there was a stirring of spring in the air and by 11:00 o'clock I was out on the bridle path. In February, we nearly always have a few days here when we begin to think that spring is just around the corner and then, before we know it, our hopes are dashed and back we are in midwinter again. I don't feel very hopeful today because the weather prophecy is "increasing cold."