FEBRUARY 23, 1939
NEW YORK, Thursday—Yesterday afternoon I went over to the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn. The purpose of my visit was to see the ward in the pediatric department of the hospital where the walls have been decorated with charming paintings taken from the illustrations by Paul Bransom in Kenneth Grahame's book, "Wind in the Willows." Albert Cugat was the mural painter and the decorations on this entire floor are the gift of one of the directors of the hospital, Mr. Louis M. Rabinowitz and his wife.
It is thought that these paintings have a special influence on the children because they are educational and serve to take their minds off their ailments. Some of the children start to copy the pictures and develop quite a talent for drawing. Mr. Rabinowitz told me he had one or two copies in his office, which he liked almost as much as he did the original paintings.
It was a delight to go through a hospital where there was nothing to criticize and where a real personal touch was evident throughout. This is brought about, I imagine, by the interest of the women's group connected with the hospital.
In the evening I went to the dinner given by the American Youth Congress, at which they announced a fellowship which they are going to give annually to some young person, who will travel abroad or in his own country and bring back his observations and the knowledge which he acquires to the members of the Youth Congress.
The American Youth Congress is a federation of a number of youth organizations. Last night they entertained many of the people in New York City who have stood for progress in the city and for devoted service in one line or another over a long period of years. Naturally, in an organization of this kind there must be no question of political partisanship, and so Mrs. Mildred Hollingsworth, one of the leaders of the Republican women, presented her party's point of view. She looked very young and pretty, and I thought it showed a fine spirit of cooperation for her to come to this dinner.
Mr. Adolf Berle presided, Mr. Archibald MacLeish spoke with grace and feeling. Mr. Joseph Cadden gave an interesting talk on the work which the Congress is undertaking, and the evening closed with a most amusing speech by Mr. John Kieran. He is always a joy and I wish he could have taken up more time.
I am much touched by the gesture which these young people have made in naming the scholarship after me. I hope that it will prove of real value in helping them to understand the problems which they have to meet.
My brother insisted that when the dinner was over, Miss Thompson and I should join his party at the Plaza Hotel. I was anxious to see my young niece who was here for a day and one of my brother's party, so we went up there and enjoyed the floor show which began soon after our arrival.
Today being a holiday, I have had a voice lesson, I have been to the dentist, and I have seen four members of my family. Isn't that a good way to spend a holiday?