MAY 3, 1940
NEW YORK, Thursday—I had the first horseback ride yesterday morning in weeks, and it did seem good to go out and spend one hour in the open air. This was not the only unusual occurrence of the day. I actually went to lunch with our old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Miller. I can't remember doing a purely personal and private thing outside of the White House for weeks. We had great fun and I left very reluctantly at 2:30, feeling that we had talked against time.
A few minutes at the Army and Navy Relief Society rummage sale with Mrs. Helm and Mrs. Charles Fayerweather, and then we drove to the Cathedral grounds where booths and a maypole were set up. Just as we arrived, it began to rain, one of those heavy showers which can be very devastating to a garden party. However, the children danced valiantly around the maypole, getting soaked through in doing so. I could only hope that after I left the rain would stop so that the attractive looking booths had enough customers really to bring in the much-needed money.
At four o'clock, Mr. Melvyn Douglas and I boarded a plane for New York City and I had my first experience this year with the difficulties of living on Standard Time in once place and Daylight Saving Time in another. It would seem that a trip which takes one hour and forty minutes and which begins at 4:00 p.m., should land you in New York City in ample time for a 7:00 p.m. dinner. When, however, you must reckon with Daylight Saving Time, it takes two hours and twenty minutes coming this way, so it was 7:45 when I reached the Hotel Astor for the dinner given by "The Nation" in my honor.
It never seems quite real to me to sit at a table and have people whom I have always looked upon with respect, admiration and considerable awe, explain why they are granting me an honor. Somehow I always feel they ought to be talking about someone else. However, I walked away with the award in my hands and many kind speeches ringing in my ears. I am taking home one or two choice remarks made by Mr. William Allen White, which I know will give the President as much amusement as they gave me. Mr. Fadiman, the toastmaster, remarked that the free dinner tendered Mr. William Allen White was in recognition of the bed and board he supplied for so many of his hosts when they visited Kansas. Anyone looking at Mr. White's kindly expression would know that he is a kindly and generous host.
I was happy to participate in the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of "The Nation," quite aside from the personal angle of the evening, for this magazine has stood for freedom of thought and expression, and has often voiced the defense of ideas which could have had a hearing nowhere else.