DECEMBER 11, 1939
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday afternoon, in New York City, I spent an hour with my son, Elliott, who was in an automobile accident recently. I must say that the loss of two front teeth does cause rather a change in his appearance and, in addition, he still has to keep his leg up. He and Ruth were so fortunate not to be more seriously hurt, that we can only be devoutly grateful in spite of what they have suffered.
In the evening, I went to a dinner given by some people interested in "The Open Road." This group of young men tried originally to promote education and understanding between this country and Europe by arranging tours at a minimum cost and giving people the opportunity of really knowing people of their own kind in their homes abroad. Now that the war has put a stop to these vacation trips, they are attempting to do something which I think of great value to our education as citizens in this country.
They propose to take graduate students, people who will be teachers or doctors or nurses or public officials, to study different parts of our own country. This will be of great value to them, because they will see that various parts of this country have to contribute to other parts of it, and they will also see the difficulties which exist in different regions. Since this group of people will be the group who leads in various communities, this knowledge will spread rapidly.
I hope very much that they will be able to raise their modest budget, for it is, I think, one of the best educational projects, besides being a very pleasant way to spend a vacation.
Our flight down yesterday morning was smooth and the day was beautiful. I arrived in time to talk over some plans for the Women's Committee for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis Campaign. Then a few people came up to lunch and in the afternoon I visited the bazaar being held here for the benefit for relief in Czechoslovakia. They tell me that it is almost impossible now to bring over any of these embroideries and glass work done by people over there. Fortunately some of the people who are established in this country have not left their art behind them, but are continuing to do the same kind of work in their new homes.
Mr. Max Gordon and Mr. Moss Hart gave several of my guests a great thrill by coming to tea. They were here to attend the Gridiron Club party. A number of ladies were here for the Gridiron "Widows" party, which takes place on the same night. One young lady extracted a promise from Mr. Hart to take her backstage when she goes to his play, for this is an experience which she has always coveted.
In the evening we all had a pleasant time, laughed at our own peculiarities as shown in the skits given by the Gridiron "Widows" and another group, and then enjoyed Miss Helen Howe in her professional monologues, which are exceptionally interesting and well done.