FEBRUARY 5, 1940
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Here it is Sunday and I have had a little over 24 hours in the country. Frankly, I feel a trifle guilty about it, for on Thursday, just before I left Washington, I received a letter inviting me to testify on Saturday evening before the Congressional Committee which is investigating the District of Columbia institutions.
I thought that I should return to Washington and give up coming here, but the President felt that the committee could do quite well without my testimony. Of course, I think one of the really useful tasks performed by husbands is to remind their wives occasionally that they are not really as important as they think they are. However, I am so interested in this Congressional investigation, that I hope the committee will give me another opportunity to talk to them about some of the problems of the institutions I have seen these past two weeks.
In the meantime, on Friday afternoon, I went to the Gallery St. Etienne on West 57th St., New York City, where some really beautiful photographs taken by Dr. Hannau, an Austrian, were being shown. Some of the scenes, to be on sale later as postcards, are startingly lovely. Later, Mrs. Heywood Broun, Miss Kay Thorne, who with a group of other young people is producing a play on her own, and Mrs. June Hamilton Rhodes, came to tea with us. Mrs. Henry Morgenthau Jr., arrived from the country and Miss Thompson and I went to a play with her before attending the Front Page Ball of the New York Newspaper Women's Club, at which I again gave the prize awards for the year.
I always do this with considerable trepidation, but I cannot help being pleased by the fact that they asked me to present them. The fact that Miss Kathleen McLaughlin is president of the club this year was an added pleasure, for she is my son-in-law and daughter's friend. Miss Ruth Millett, Miss Virginia Pope and Miss Helen Worden were all present to receive their awards, and there was real sense of thrill when the fourth winner, Miss Sonia Tomara of the New York Herald Tribune, whose award I handed to Mrs. Ogden Reid, spoke to us from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where she is at present.
We also heard the voice of Mrs. Anne O'Hare McCormick of the New York Times, who had just joined Miss Tomara in this city so far away from home.
Some of the most eminent gentlemen guests participated in the floor show. A remarkable magician took away their belongings while their attention was fixed on something else. He did a wonderful card trick and ended with a ring trick which no one could attempt to explain. Then we were delighted to see a young dancer, Hal Le Roy, who had fascinated us earlier in the evening in the play, "Too Many Girls." This play is one of the best musical comedies we have seen this year and we enjoyed every minute of it.
Since I can probably never thank all the girls in the cast individually for their charming gift of flowers, which was brought to me in an entr'acte, I want to do it here and, at the same time, tell the entire cast that we grieved at having to leave before the end of the play in order to be at the ball in time to go on the air.