APRIL 12, 1939
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—At 4:00 o'clock yesterday afternoon, a small children's Easter party was held in the East Room. Mr. Baker, who had been entertaining out on the lawn, came in and performed for the youngsters. Nancy Forbush's marionette show also was a great success. Afterwards, the children all went in to supper in the big State Dining Room and, as they finished, they climbed down off their chairs to hunt for Easter eggs. I went in to announce what each child's proper share of eggs was, because I feared that some youngsters might have a greater capacity for finding things than others, which would, perhaps, mean a tearful end to the party. There were no grandchildren here this year, which was sad and made me the only hostess for my youthful guests.
Mademoiselle Eve Curie arrived while the parents of these youngsters were having tea with me and joined us. What a charming person she is! You are conscious first of her intelligent face and her lovely brow and eyes. Then, like all French women, it is her well-groomed, chic appearance which strikes you. She is more conservatively dressed in many ways than an American woman might be, but every detail is carefully thought out. She has been lecturing on her mother's life and other women scientists and on the use of radium. She, herself, is not a scientist and so she talks from the point of view of the well-informed layman, which, I am sure, is more helpful to the average audience than the lecture of a scientist would be.
At 5:30, the Minister from Finland returned, bringing with him Madame Heporauto, the most successful novelist in Finland. She takes a great interest in the revival of the early arts and crafts and in the understanding of the ancient culture in her country. She showed me with pride the costume she wore, a hand-woven draped shawl around her shoulders, with ornaments made as they made them in the Thirteen Hundreds. These were actually copied from those dug up by some of the archeological excavations which are now being made. At one end of a long chain hung a collection of little bells which announced to the servants the arrival of their mistress and which also served to ward off the evil eye. From the other shoulder hung another chain terminating in a sharp knife used by the lady of the house, perhaps as a weapon for defense, but also in the course of her daily routine for cutting meat or other food.
A few people came to dinner last night and today the morning was spent in planning some of the April and May activities. The Cabinet ladies lunched with me and this afternoon we are giving a tea for the wives of the members of the House of Representatives. We had planned to give it out of doors, but April winds make it seem a little chilly. Those who wish, will wander from the Red Room and the Green Room down into the White House gardens, but we will receive and serve tea indoors.