JULY 9, 1940
NEW YORK, Monday—As I look back on yesterday, I spent most of the day in a very churchlike atmosphere. After morning service, and lunch at the big house, with the Postmaster General as our guest, I returned to the cottage. I worked for an hour and then groups of people began to stream past my window. Little by little, our picnic grounds filled up.
We had agreed to give the grounds for a meeting of the Christian Action Committee for Scandinavian Relief. It is a church group in which many Scandinavian churches have joined to collect money and send what they can to alleviate suffering in the Scandinavian countries. Considerable sums have already gone to Finland.
We waited some time for the buses to arrive, so I went out to the picnic grounds at intervals and talked to various guests, until finally, the service started. There was singing by the Norwegian choir and a very lovely young Norwegian girl. The hymns were sung by the entire gathering and I thought the simple prayers and talks both dignified and impressive.
I particularly liked the pastor, who reminded the gathering what their people had come to do in the United States, and who ended with a number of very apt suggestions. One: "There should be more paint on the home and less on the young girls' faces," provoked considerable laughter.
Scandinavian-American children, like nearly all other children nowadays, collect autographs and I signed a considerable number before I left my picnic guests. Then I drove over to Mrs. J. R. Roosevelt's house to have a little talk with Bishop Atwood, who is staying with her.
He is always full of the latest political news, frequently coming up here directly from some of his more conservative, Republican friends, so I always enjoy a little chat on the trend of feeling in foreign and domestic affairs.
The President left again this evening. I hope, next time, he can stay for a week, but, of course, nothing is certain these days.
We left Hyde Park this morning for a very busy day in New York City. The first important engagement was one at noon at La Guardia Field, when the Walter Mack Job Awards for American Youth were presented at a reception and lunch at La Guardia Field. The idea seems to me a very interesting one, and the awards seem well worthwhile and should stimulate young people to put forth their best efforts.
I understand that Mr. Mack hopes that his idea will be followed by other business firms. I certainly think it would do much to encourage a great many young people if more firms showed real interest in giving them job opportunities.