JULY 6, 1939
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Yesterday the President and I spent the day in a way which has become almost traditional in the past few years. We invite all those who are in his party to come up from Poughkeepsie, swim if they want to and picnic with us at noon. Only a few of the men swam yesterday. One of them gave an exhibition of fancy diving and was a joy to watch. I grow horribly envious at the ease with which people seem to do these things when I find the plainest dive so difficult.
There was a little breeze and under the trees on the picnic ground it was fairly cool. Miss Thompson and I were warm for a short time while we broiled "hot dogs," but we cooled off quickly.
This time we asked the butcher for a special brand because, when I was on a trip on the other side of the river the other day, the mayor of the city I was visiting, informed me that I should be familiar with products from neighboring places along the river. He said that his particular city had a factory which made the best frankfurters on the market. We have now proved to our own satisfaction that they are excellent, for everybody seemed to enjoy them yesterday.
Besides our own "entourage," others joined us for lunch, among them President and Mrs. Henry MacCracken, Mr. and Mrs. Karl Bickel, Mr. and Mrs. George Bye, Mr. and Mrs. MacKinlay Kantor and the Minister of Norway and Mrs. de Morgenstierne.
The latter came up to say goodbye, for they are leaving for their new post in Rome. I am glad that my husband has never been in the diplomatic service, for I should feel very sad at having to make new friends so often and then going so far away from old ones.
We all dined with my mother-in-law last night, for she is going down to New York City today, preparatory to sailing tomorrow.
Last night and today have seemed to me a little warmer, but I am glad to say there are clouds which made riding pleasanter this morning. I hope the overcast sky means a real rain, for in spite of rain one night, some days ago, we desperately need a good, long soaking rain.
I have just received a most interesting report prepared by a study group of fifteen in the school of social studies in San Francisco, California. It is called "Living Conditions in Chinatown," and I should think it would make San Francisco officials anxious to obtain a more detailed report and then take some action. I always enjoy my trips to Chinatown when I am in San Francisco, but I have always been conscious, that just as in our own rather picturesque Chinese quarter in New York City, there are undoubtedly dangers to the whole city there because of poor housing and living conditions.
We had a fire in New York City's Chinatown the other day which resulted in the death of several people, and I imagine this same thing might easily happen in San Francisco. It is hard for us to realize that poor living conditions bring about such results not only in the quarters in which they exist, but frequently in other parts of the community.