JULY 6, 1940
HYDE PARK, Friday—There was a nice little ceremony at the library when the key was finally turned over to Mr. R.D.W. Connor the Archivist of the United States. The President was gently reminded by him that the building now waited for his papers. The prompt answer was that 32 cases of books, papers and prints were already there, and more were on the way.
After the flag was raised in front of the library, we came over to my cottage and gradually all the people who are my closest neighbors, from grandparents to babies, began to gather. A little after 4:00 o'clock, the President drove up. He read the Declaration of Independence, leaving out only the part which has direct reference to our situation in 1776. Then he talked to us all for a few minutes on the historical happenings of the last few years and the situation in the world today.
Mr. Arthur Smith, aided by one of the small boys, pulled the flag to the top of the flagpole. The colored baritone, William Bowers, sang "America" and everybody joined in. Afterwards he sang one or two other songs, including "God Bless America." Everyone said goodbye to the President and went up to enjoy a few refreshments on the lawn and chat together for a little while before returning to their homes.
At about 6:00 o'clock the President came back again, and Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau with their daughter, Joan, and Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, and various members of our family gathered at the cottage for a picnic supper. The newspapermen, photographers, office force and other friends were all with us. The sun came out and made it quite warm and pleasant, but we were a little afraid that the ground would be damp so we served our food indoors.
Mr. Bowers sang for us again, accompanied on the guitar by Mr. Vincent Catanese, who has his own orchestra on Staten Island. Mr. Catanese was really remarkable, for he was able to play almost any song that was suggested if someone just hummed the tune. Everyone enjoyed Mr. Bowers' singing. I was sorry that a call from the Secretary of State took the President back to the big house about 8:00 o'clock and made everybody else go back to work.
I was moved to a patriotic feeling today by the little ceremony with our neighbors around the flagpole, because it is so significant of what we stand for in this country. The President of the United States observing this Fourth of July with his neighbors in that close companionship which should exist between all of us in this democratic nation, challenged the relationships in the totalitarian countries. If we talk to each other in honesty and simple faith, our light will shine forth to the world.