JANUARY 23, 1941
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday was a day of leave taking. Never has this house been as filled with young people as it was for this inauguration. Cots and cribs seemed to be in every room and the five youngest members of the household were really the ones who spread gaiety and life throughout the old house.
On the whole, yesterday was fairly quiet. I received Mrs. B. J. Thill of La Crosse, Wisconsin, in the afternoon. She is "Mrs. National Consumer" for 1941, and I never saw anyone who enjoyed and profited more from a holiday.
She told me of her two boys and I could see that she wished they had been with her to enjoy the many new experiences. I imagine this is a natural feeling, for it is always so much pleasanter when you can share whatever you are doing with people you love.
Earlier in the afternoon, I spent a short time with the superintendents of public schools and superintendents of public recreation of various cities who were invited to participate in a WPA education-recreation conference.
At 4:00, I went to the ceremonies attending the dedication of the new annex for tuberculosis patients at Freedmen's Hospital. The Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Ickes, turned the building over to Administrator Paul McNutt, who accepted it and promised to do his best to support the work of the hospital. Freedmen's Hospital will need all the support which can be given it, for it is Howard University's training school for doctors. There is also a training school for nurses in connection with it.
I am very anxious to see this hospital made valuable, not only because of the need it fills in serving the Negro population in the District of Columbia, but because of the great need for good doctors and nurses throughout the country to render service to our Negro population. Tuberculosis has long been a scourge to the colored people. There is need for preventive education among them, as well as for the early detection of the disease in any member of the family to safeguard the rest of it.
The Dallas Aviation School in Texas has an energetic advertising director. Like her brother, Mr. C. R. Smith, of American Airlines, Miss Flo Smith is full of ideas and is energetic about carrying them out.
She writes me that she has started a movement in connection with the local British war relief chapter. She collects tinfoil from all the children in the schools, and though little money is realized from the sale of it, so many of the youngsters are interested that they are spreading the word rapidly that Great Britain needs aid.
She thinks it has stimulated a great deal of activity along other lines as well. Miss Smith suggests that this is one way that even the youngest child in our nation can take part in the aid being sent to England by the United States.