January 15, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon we had a charming musicale at the White House. Mr. Eugene List, the young pianist, made me feel that I would selfishly like to drop in some time when he was playing for his own pleasure, and ask him to run over many of the things which I like best and which I remember having had played to me when I was a child. Both of our artists yesterday were young, Mr. William Horne has a lovely voice and his program was delightfully chosen. Everyone to whom I spoke afterwards, told me that they enjoyed the afternoon.
Mr. Maurice Davidson came in late for tea to tell me something more of the trip to Mexico with Vice President-Elect and Mrs. Wallace. I gather they all had a most successful time. Mr. Davidson is the President of the Society of American Friends of Mexico and has a special interest in the development of friendly relations between us and the Mexican Government and people.
These days before the inauguration are particularly trying for Mrs. Helm and Miss Thompson, who keep getting requests for seats, or for invitations to lunch or tea. We know quite well that seats cannot be expanded indefinitely and that, wonderful as the staff of the White House is, there comes a point where even the simplest lunch or tea cannot be served to any more people.
Rather sadly, Mrs. Helm said to me this morning: "Don't you think we can say to anyone who hasn't answered yet that the lists are closed?" I think she was rather discouraged when I explained that there would continue to be requests up to the last minute, some of which we would undoubtedly have to consider.
The weather is perfectly beautiful and we are all praying it will hold over Inauguration Day.
Yesterday, former Governor O. Max Gardner, who is Chairman of the Governor's Reception Committee, came to see me to invite the entire family to the reception which is being given for the Governors by the Inaugural Committee at the residence of Ambassador and Mrs. Joseph E. Davies. This should be a pleasant party, for it will not be too large. It is being kept entirely official in order that the Governors may carry out their desire to talk to Government officials on defense problems which have arisen in their respective states.
Many of us hope that attending the Inauguration will be pleasanter this year for the Governors of the states than it has ever been before. Mrs. Edwin M. Watson, who is Chairman of the Committee on Music, has arranged a very interesting performance at Constitution Hall on Sunday night, where a very brilliant audience, including the Governors and their wives, will be assembled.