AUGUST 9, 1940
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Early yesterday morning, I drove down to New York City to see some of my son Elliott's friends. Then I bought some tickets for the benefit to be given at the Polo Grounds on August 22 for Bethune-Cookman College, founded by Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune at Daytona Beach, Florida. This college serves many thousand colored people who live south of Daytona. Because it was started with no endowments, there is always a need to raise the yearly running expenses. The party on the twenty-second will be a combination music and sports festival, and will include boxing contests and entertainment by many outstanding figures in the music, stage, screen and radio fields.
I have real admiration for Mrs. Bethune and her devotion to her race as well as her tact and wisdom in all the work she undertakes. She has helped immeasurably as head of the work for young colored people in the National Youth Administration, and I hope that many people, not only of her race but also of mine, will be interested to help by attending this benefit.
Later in the afternoon I spoke over the radio for "Bundles for Britain," and was home in Hyde Park in time to have a swim before dinner.
The weather is glorious today, and we are all planning to be out of doors as much as we can. I have a party this afternoon for the Democratic women in nearby counties, and then I think we will all take picnic suppers and enjoy the moonlight which is very beautiful just now.
The reporters who interviewed me yesterday, some of whom I imagine are members of the New York Newspaper Guild, seemed most interested in my announcement that I meant to attend the Guild meetings, if I possibly could. They began by asking me to answer statements in Mr. Pegler's column of the day before, but as I had not read the column that was out of the question. I told them I would answer any questions which they wished to ask to the best of my ability.
It seems rather useless anyway to start answering statements made by my kindly fellow columnist, or by any other newspaper writers, now or in the future, unless for some reason I was particularly interested in doing so. In this case, it all seems very unimportant to me. I have no desire to be a member of any organization for which I am not eligible, and the organization is certainly competent to decide. For the moment, I happen to be in a little different position from other columnists. That has not always been the case and will not always be so in the future. In the meantime, I must worry along as best I can, facing situations that I find myself in, and doing the best I can with them as they are.