MAY 2, 1940
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon I received a number of diplomats and their wives. I cannot help feeling that this whole group has a serious and almost sad approach to any subject these days. There is an uncertainty abroad in the world which makes those who are close to their governments and represent them in foreign lands, feel the seriousness and precariousness of life from day to day.
In the evening I went to a dinner to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Instructive Visiting Nurses Society in Washington, D. C. Mrs. Harlan Fiske Stone has been the President since 1936 and a very hard working one. The people who gathered to do honor to her and the Association, are interested in the well-being of Washington's large lower income bracket population.
I remember this work years ago, when my aunt, Mrs. William Sheffield Cowles, was interested in this organization. I think the founders and all those who worked in it in those early days, would be gratified at the increase of service which has come about in forty years.
After the dinner was over, I went to see Mrs. Morgenthau, who has not been very well and so was not able to attend, though she had done a great deal in making the arrangements for the dinner. For some reason, the broadcast of the dinner was not heard in Washington, but a transcription was run off at 10:00 p.m. and Mrs. Morgenthau and I listened. It is a curious sensation, sitting critically listening to yourself and realizing how unutterably slow and dull you sound. Somehow or other, I must learn to think more quickly on my feet, or I shall always spoil whatever impromptu program I am on. It is good for the soul to have an experience like this, but somewhat discouraging.
The President and I have just been presented with a painting called: "Rebirth of the Holy Land," by Arye Leo Peysack of Palestine. It is a very kind and charming gesture and both of us appreciate his thought. All these kindly gestures from people of different races are, I think, the result of a feeling that so many of us have been drifting away from a kindliness of spirit in these days that those who desire better understanding and peace, try to emphasize anything which will draw us together.
I am glad to see that the Council Against Intolerance in America, is calling a regional conference on tolerance through education, on Saturday, May 11th, in New York City. Some very distinguished educators are the sponsors. Since the feeling of goodwill must be promoted through the schools, I think that this is an effort which should command our support.