JANUARY 22, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday —In thinking over yesterday, the only thing I wish I knew is whether our guests finally succeeded in getting any lunch or tea! That is the one difficult thing about trying to invite all the people whom we would like to see on a day of this kind.
Even as it was, I heard of one or two cases of husbands invited without their wives, and of wives invited without their husbands. They came to the door together, only to find the regulations about each person having their own admittance card had to be enforced. Had there been anyone who could have identified people from all over the country, these mistakes could have been avoided. But that, of course, was impossible.
I was able to go in for a few minutes last night to the dinner which Mr. Edward J. Flynn, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee gave for its members and for the Democratic state chairman and vice-chairman, who were here. It was a great pleasure to have a glimpse of them all.
Then I went over to hear the last part of the program presented by the Inaugural Committee and the Committee on Special Entertainment, at a musical by Negro artists in the Departmental Auditorium. It was a beautiful concert and I was happy to be there for even half of the program.
The children gradually are leaving again. Franklin, Jr., went last night so as to be at work this morning. Johnny and Anne have gone back to Boston, Elliott has started for Wright Field, Ohio, but we are to keep his two children for a little while at least. Jimmy's two children started back today and he will leave tonight.
One of the things that appeals to us all is the training of handicapped children. We are gradually learning that children who are deaf, dumb or handicapped in some other way, can be enormously helped by proper training. Blind children have been given this training for a good many years.
I think, perhaps, we have progressed further in our knowledge of how to help them, than we have in the care of some of our other handicapped groups. This type of education is always expensive and all the institutions serving this group need material help from every person in the community.
On Saturday evening, January 25th, at Town Hall in New York City, the school chorus of the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind will give its second annual concert to raise money for the additions to the school's Braille library. This chorus of 32 voices will be joined by Lauritz Melchior, tenor of the Metropolitan Opera Company, whose devotion to this work is enhanced because his sister, who is blind, is a teacher in an institution for the sightless in Copenhagen, Denmark.
There was one mistake in my column yesterdayabout the concert in Constitution Hall, which I should have corrected. Mr. Robert Sherwood was taken ill at the last minute and his place was ably filled by Mr. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., who acted as master of ceremonies on a few minutes notice. Everybody's thanks go to him for pinch-hitting in such a wonderful way.