OCTOBER 10, 1939
NEW YORK, Monday—Dr. Harvey Cushing's death on Saturday was a great loss to the nation and a great sorrow to all who knew him. I left Washington by plane last night and went up to New Haven, Conn., on a noon train in order to be at the funeral, but I shall be back in Washington tonight.
It seems to me that the unexpected is always happening in life. One never knows from day to day what fate may have in store.
Going round the United States in a week, gives one a feeling of having travelled far and steadily, but I met so many men on the way who seemed to think nothing of travelling from coast to coast several times in the same month, that I feel I should also take it more casually.
I spent yesterday glued to my desk in the White House, because, with all of Miss Thompson's efforts, there were a great many things waiting for my personal attention. I imagine I shall be catching up on mail most of this week. Holidays usually result in extra work some time.
It seems to me that in California, particularly in San Francisco, one has a sense of interest which everybody takes in the various arts. After seeing the exhibition of old masters and contemporary artists at the World's Fair out there and hearing of various other artistic ventures, I feel I should mention to you the existence of an interesting exhibition in the East.
There is, at present, at the Yonkers Museum of Science and Arts in Trevor Park, Yonkers, N.Y., an exhibition by contemporary artists, which will be there through the whole month of October. It includes both oil paintings and water colors.
Anyone having the time to stop on the way in or out of New York City, will find this a most interesting exhibition, for there are many of our best known American artists included in the list of those who have sent their work.
I also have just had a most interesting letter telling me about a new musical organization. It is called "The Little Symphony Society of Philadelphia." This group is dedicated to the purpose of creating more opportunities for young American artists by providing excellent accompaniment for outstanding soloists who wish to make their debut in a great music center, by offering guest-conducting experience to rising directors of merit and by furnishing an available medium for promising composers to hear their works preformed by a fine professional orchestra.
This should mean an opportunity for young Americans to be heard, which has often been difficult. I hope the support will come from many parts of the country and not only from Philadelphia, for it is thrilling to help in the development of young American artists.