JULY 10, 1939
HYDE PARK, N. Y., Sunday—Yesterday was warm. When I telephoned my husband in Washington, even he, who never acknowledges the heat, had to say that Washington was not a pleasant spot and that he was off for Annapolis and the Potomac River, though returning tonight to be in Washington for Secretary Swanson's funeral at the Capitol tomorrow morning.
The Secretary had been ill for a long time, but in spite of his illness, he managed to do a great deal of work. All through his life, he won for himself a great many friends. One newspaper writer casually mentioned to me yesterday that he would never forget his contacts with the Secretary at the time of the peace conference in Paris, because of his never failing friendliness. I know that the President feels his loss as a friend as well as a Cabinet officer, and both of us are deeply sympathetic with Mrs. Swanson, who has carried on so gallantly through her husband's illness.
We had quite a party yesterday. Twelve people were here for lunch and when we reach that number, it has to be a picnic. We sat out under the trees and fortunately there was a little breeze, but it died down later in the afternoon. Everyone spent most of the day in bathing suits, which is the only comfortable way to exist on such days.
Today it seems a little cooler and the sky is clouded. We have read the Sunday papers and feel pleasantly lazy. Only two or three people are coming to lunch, but this afternoon Jimmy is coming up for a few hours on his way from the West Coast to Washington, D.C.
The calm way in which air travel is being established between the United States and Europe is very thrilling I think. There is a mention of it, of course, in the papers and today the photographs of the various editors and newspaper publishers who flew appeared, but very soon these trips will be mere routine, just as the air trips across the Pacific are. Only if there is some catastrophe will we hear any mention of this regular service, which has been established after years of careful study and experimentation.
So quickly do we forgot what has gone before, that we will doubtless be surprised if anything goes wrong, forgetting how many ships were lost in the early days of sea voyages and figuring that the conquest of the air will be done even less dangerously.
I had a most interesting letter from Mr. Norman Davis, written after his return from abroad. It is always of interest to me to know what our American Red Cross can do to alleviate suffering throughout the world. Today there are so many innocent and defenseless people in different parts of the world who are suffering from the results of war, and not because of any action of their own, that I think, wherever we are able, we should give more support to the American Red Cross.