APRIL 26, 1939
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon a number of people came to tea. Among them Miss Freda Utley, who has spent a great deal of time in China and is here trying to awaken our interest in Chinese relief. I am sure those people of the United States who are able to do so, will help those in need in any country throughout the world. We have always had a sentimental interest in China which outweighs the interest we may feel for many other nations. Probably this is because so many of our early New Englanders, who gained their livlihood by sailing their ships to far parts of the world and trading their goods with other nations, built up not only friendly relations with the Chinese government, but developed a respect for the Chinese merchant and his way of doing business.
Miss Margaret Valiant, who has been making a study of cultural backgrounds in various parts of the country, also came in at tea time and brought some records she has made of songs heard in the migratory workers camps of the Southwest and Western Coast. Some of them are really extraordinaryily interesting and show great talent, which is remarkable to find under such straightened economic conditions.
I worked all evening on the mail and read the manuscript of a book which had been sent in, and found it growing very late. The book is a novel, but it imparts an enormous amount of valuable education on the subject of syphilis and should be a great help to the young people and their elders throughout the nation. It is not yet published, but I hope it will be soon.
A press conference this morning and an opportunity to meet a seminar group under Mr. Sherwood Eddy's leadership, which is taking a trip in our own country instead of a foreign country. This idea seemed to me so admirable that I greeted them all with the greatest joy. Now I am off to join the Cabinet ladies at our annual luncheon with the ladies of the Senate, which is always a very pleasant occasion.
There were two articles which I read in the Sunday Newspaper magazine sections, which I have thought about a great deal. One was a short article by Dorothy Canfield in "This Week" on: "Where Do We Go From Here," which every young person should read. The other was an account by Anne O'Hare McCormick on the state of mind, or perhaps we should say nerves, of various European capitals. She left out one or two capitals that I would like to know something about just at present. Her remark that Anglo-Saxons are not always the best of people under certain conditions amused me greatly and I think it is perfectly true. I always wish that I could be sure that I would behave in a crisis in a way I know one should behave when one thinks about it beforehand.