MAY 3, 1939
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon there was a really interesting celebration in the Village of Rhinebeck, N. Y. The new post office has been built not far from the old Beekman Arms Hotel on the Albany Post Road. It is of grey fieldstone and a faithful replica of the old Beekman house, except for an extension at the back which had to be added to accomodate the work that must be done there.
It is a rare thing for any post office to be dedicated with the President of the United States and two Cabinet officers in attendance but, on this occasion, the President, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster General were on hand and, in addition, the young Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, who were staying with us. The Crown Prince consented to lay the cornerstone, which he did much more thoroughly than is usually the case. Most of us take a trowel in our hand and make believe, but he intended to prepare the space so that the stone would remain there permanently and he earned his honorary membership in the stone mason's union!
The military band master was then brought up and introduced to the Crown Prince, for he had come to this country from Denmark. It was interesting to hear them talk in Danish. Some of the young women and children were dressed in Danish costume and presented all the ladies in the party with the most beautiful Rhinebeck violets. I am particularly fond of the white ones and was delighted to have a big bunch of them. I know no other place where violets are more successfuly grown.
After the speeches and the ceremony had come to an end, we went in to look at the interior which is not as yet quite finished. The murals done by Mr. Olin Dows, which will tell the story of the town, are not yet up. Placed in two cases on either side of the door one can see a piece of the old stone used in the original Beekman Mansion, and a piece of the window glass which was rescued when the old house burned down.
After dinner last night, our young Danish guests left us to motor back to New York to have a little rest before a very busy official day at the New York World's Fair, ending with a gala opera performance and a supper party afterwards.
I think, for these young people, many of the things they do cannot be entirely a pleasure. They must grow weary of crowds and new faces, and yet they must be touched by the warmth of the welcome which they have received. We can only hope that here and there, amidst all their official duties, they may have an occasional opportunity for a really good time.
I am speaking at noon today before the Query Club and going from there to Mrs. Cleveland Dodge's house in Riverdale for a meeting of the National Association for the Improvement of Colored People. When I return from there, we are planning to have an entirely unofficial evening, which I shall tell you about tomorrow.