JANUARY 17, 1940
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—I had a delightful lunch yesterday with the members of the Women's Faculty Club of Columbia University. It was all very pleasant and informal. I enjoyed particularly seeing Dean and Mrs. Russell again. Mrs. Russell drove me downtown after lunch so I had a chance for a little extra chat with her.
Then I had several visitors, among them a group who are planning an education campaign in New York City in the schools to acquaint people in the city with the problem of sharecroppers as it exists in other parts of the country. I think that it is an interesting thing to do, for we should surely make every effort to have people in the cities understand the problem of their country neighbors.
In the evening, before taking the night train back to Washington, we went to the Guild Theatre to see "The World We Make" by Sidney Kingsley. This play is based on Millen Brand's novel "The Outward Room." Margo and Herbert Rydley, who play the two principal parts excellently, are well supported by a very good cast. The play is interesting and pertinent to the present time when hatred and horror fill so much of the world that many people must often wish to get out of it. The final realization on the part of the heroine that suffering comes to everyone and the important thing about suffering is how you take it and what you contribute in the way of sympathy and help when other people suffer, is the lesson for all of us to remember.
As usual, Miss Thompson and I are swamped with mail on our return, but the routine is easy to take up again. It seems as though the two days in the country were already a month behind us, and it is natural to find our days scheduled to the last minute.
So many clippings have come to me and so many letters also, condemning the American Student Union, that I have come to the conclusion that there is a misapprehension in people's minds as to what actually transpired at the their convention in Madison, Wisconsin. I happen not to be particularly concerned with what they did or didn't do. I certainly hold no brief for their refusal to condemn Russia, but I should like to point out that the resolution which they actually passed was practically identical with the resolution passed by the National Student Federation which is a conservative student body, and with one passed by another student group, all with the aim of keeping us out of war.
This attitude reflects the attitude of the older members of their families. The fact they will not condemn Russia, I think, arises more from a general distrust of all news and feeling that condemnation of any people should at present be withheld. You and I may think this attitude foolish, may even think it wrong, but I really do not think that it is quite necessary to dignify it with the amount of notice and apprehension which it seems to have excited in the press and in the minds of certain individuals.