AUGUST 27, 1940
WASHINGTON, Monday—We flew to Washington last night in the rain, but the trip was smooth. I found that the weather plus an important conference had brought my husband back early in the afternoon from his trip on the Potomac, so Governor and Mrs. Maybank of South Carolina, who were with him, stayed with us for dinner and the night. After dinner, we were shown some delightful movies taken of the President's trip last February. Every time I see pictures taken of the Canal, I promise myself that before another year goes by to see that engineering marvel for myself.
The little Girl Scout from Panama, who was so pretty in her exquisitely hand-embroidered native costume, told me at the camp the other day, a good deal about her country and I was impressed by her excellent English. No one would have thought that it was not her native tongue. I wonder how soon our young people will be surprising natives of South American countries by speaking Spanish as well as the South Americans do English.
I hear most encouraging reports of the National Youth Orchestra's trip in South America under Mr. Stowkoski, and am looking forward to hearing them on their first program on their return to the United States.
We also saw a number of the latest newsreels last night and, among others, part of Ambassador Bullitt's speech in Philadelphia. This was interesting to me, because speaking for the newsreels is something which requires a good deal of experience. I felt that in this particular one, the depth of his feelings carried his message in a way which had not been achieved by his written words. I had read it in the newspapers and had been interested, but had missed the force of conviction which went with his delivery and was very glad to hear him last night.
The President began his day this morning with an important conference at 9:00 and apparently there is not one minute during the rest of the day which will be free. I realize that, in these summer months, when he goes to the country occasionally, there is more crowded into the days which are spent in Washington, but the days in Hyde Park seem to me as busy as they can be.
I wonder if, for everyone in Congress and in the Administration, the pressure of work is so very heavy because so many different activities must be coordinated and dovetailed. Ordinarily, each person could go on with his own job regardless of what others do, but at present everything seems to bear on what is being done somewhere else. This is even truer of our relations with the rest of the world. I feel that there must be an increasing sense of burden for the leaders of Congress and the heads of the Administration.
I am now going to a meeting called by Mr. Aubrey Williams on National Youth Administration activities. Later this afternoon, Miss Thompson and I shall return to New York City.