FEBRUARY 11, 1941
WASHINGTON, Monday—I am thankful beyond words for one quotation from Mr. Willkie on his return from Europe: "If we give aid to Britain we are likely to stay out of war." I am glad that this is his conviction after his trip.
On leaving Montgomery, W. Va., yesterday, we motored directly to Charleston, and I was impressed, as I always am, by the beauty of this state. The streams at this season are partly frozen and the hills powdered with snow. Yet, all through this section, on the hillsides and along the road, the usual sad, grimy looking little houses make one's heart heavy. Life could not be lived normally, joy could not exist in such surroundings. I wonder sometimes at the buoyancy of human spirit which rises above such surroundings and aspires to a better life.
At the hotel, our rooms were filled with lovely flowers, which made one forget that winter still held sway outside. The press paid me a short visit and then we had a quiet lunch and time to go over some mail.
After the lecture, we attended a reception at the Governor's mansion. I had to be reminded by Miss Thompson that, at the hotel, there was work to be done, before I finally tore myself away at six-thirty.
The group sponsoring the lecture gave it as a benefit for the Morris Memorial Hospital, which is a hospital for crippled children. When I saw it some years ago, it was only partially completed, but one could tell that the spirit necessary to help these children overcome their handicap was there. Several of the patients came to the lecture and afterwards to tea. One perfectly charming young woman, Miss Marjorie Dohan, from Ohio, is receiving treatment and at the same time earning her way by acting as secretary. They told me that everyone is devoted to her and I can well understand it, because she is as pretty as a picture and radiates a cheerful, happy spirit.
I succeeded in finishing the mail and doing a little dictating before I went to the train at 10:00, escorted by the efficient state police sergeant who had watched over us all day. My respect for the state constabulary in every State grows as I see more of them. They are so competent and so thoughtful, both in matters of safety and in the comfort of the guests visiting their states.
Mrs. Blackburn Watts and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Koontz saw us off to the train and we woke this morning just outside of Washington.