MARCH 26, 1940
WASHINGTON, Monday—I understand that yesterday was the coldest Easter since 1890. In corroboration I can testify that Miss Thompson and I found the sunrise service at the Unknown Soldier's Tomb a triumph of the spiritual over the physical. The seats were all taken in spite of the weather, which congealed both hands and feet. I saw Governor Price of Virginia opening and closing his hands as though they were getting numb and I was glad that none of the young people staying in the house had decided to get up to accompany me. Instead, I took them to the 11:00 service at St. Thomas' Church.
I did not ride in the afternoon as I had planned, the cold and gray skies made me decide to stay indoors and work at my desk. Some more guests arrived and last night nine children were in the house.
Today is very cold and there is no threat of rain, so I think the crowd on the lawn will do very little damage to the grass during the annual Easter egg rolling. As usual, we went down at 9:30 a.m. and I spoke over the radio and said a few words for the newsreels. Then I walked around the grounds and spoke to the members of the George Washington High School Band of Alexandria, Va., and to some members of the Boys Club of the Metropolitan Police, which was to play later. Later in the day, the Montgomery County (Maryland) High School Band, The National Training School Band and the United States Marine Band played for the entertainment of our guests. The youngsters, with baskets filled with eggs, were all warmly dressed and seemed to be enjoying themselves in spite of the chilly air.
I went for a ride at 11:00 o'clock and at a little after 2:00 I went out on the grounds again to see how many more children had braved the cold. At 2:30 the University of Rochester Glee Club sang two numbers on the porch and then a few numbers in the East Room. At 3:00 o'clock, the small children, who usually come Easter Monday afternoon for a party, arrived. They had their movies and ice cream and cake and a look out on the lawn and left before our official visitors from Costa Rica arrived.
I must tell you that the movie "Rebecca," made from Daphne du Maurier's book, is excellent. It holds your interest all the time and Judith Anderson does a wonderful piece of character acting as Mrs. Danvers. The two principals are charming and convincing. They were wise to end the picture so that you can imagine the future will be happier and that Rebecca's evil influence will finally pass away. Evil influences have a dreadful way, however, of sticking around and one disagreeable person in a family can shadow the present and the future for a long time.