AUGUST 31, 1939
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Gray skies and a Hudson River that had white caps on it did not encourage us this morning as we sped by motor from Hyde Park to the World's Fair. My aunt, Mrs. Gray, has not been to the Fair before and Miss Thompson and I were sorry that she should see it first on a bad day, but the rain held off until after lunch, so her initial glimpse was really very lovely. That green waterfall down the front of the Italian Building is something to remember and, as you look back from the steps of the Federal Building at the fountains, their very whiteness shows up better against a gray sky.
We went to lunch in the Danish pavilion, having promised ourselves a meal from that smorgasbordtable the last time we went there for tea. It was just as good as we thought it was going to be. We had picked up Miss Hicock and when we left her office to take the bus, I reminded her that we had waited for several buses the last time we were there and the right one never came along. I found that I was not the only one who remembered this, for the young starter said: "You won't have to wait so long today, Mrs. Roosevelt, number six will be right along." Sure enough, it was the second bus to come in.
Miss Hicock urged us to see Finland's exhibit first, so that was our first stop. I have a beautiful glass bowl which was presented to me last spring by the Finnish Minister, so I was especially interested in their glass exhibit. I thought some of their pottery was charming, and their mocassins made me think a little of our own Indian's work. Later on, much to my surprise, I found some of the designs in the hand woven rugs in the Greek exhibit very similar to the designs in our American Indian rugs.
After lunch we spent nearly an hour in the Federal Building. We all agreed it was a remarkably well arranged and instructive exhibit. The dioramas are really beautiful. The story of government is told not only by the written word, but also by charts, maps with electric lights to point to the spots where different things exist, pictures and actual scenes which make it easy to comprehend the objects of government and the efforts made by different agencies to achieve certain results.
On coming out, we found the rain falling, but by walking rather quickly we reached the Greek Building without any damage to our clothes. I had not realized that rug making was an industry in Greece, but they explained to me that refugees from Smyrna had brought their art with them. It is interesting to find that a refugee group can contribute something which has become an important industry. The glass, pottery and furniture all were very lovely and bore witness to the fact that the glory of Greek genius is not a thing of the past. The few pieces of old Greek sculpture should not be missed, they are so very lovely.