FEBRUARY 15, 1941
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday afternoon our Luxembourg guests enjoyed with me a short musical program given by the Chamber Music Guild String Quartet and two young English singers, Miss Viola Morris and Miss Victoria Anderson, whose fresh young voices seemed to bring spring into the room.
In the evening, a number of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, with their wives, came to dinner and afterwards the moving picture "The Philadelphia Story" was shown. I had seen this as a play, but Katharine Hepburn is as charming in the movies as she is on the stage and off the stage. Everybody else in the cast is excellent and the whole picture was received with great enthusiasm by our guests. I was glad to find that apparently very few people had seen it before.
I have been sent a very useful book, called "The New Pitfalls In English" by Sophie C. Hadida. The person sending it to me, I am sure, has found that I need to study my own language. I suppose many of us forget any grammar we may have learned in our childhood and speak our own language almost entirely by ear. If we had to stop to think of the rules, conversation would be slow.
The difficulty in a country as big as ours, is that our ear becomes accustomed to usage which varies with the locality. In addition to that, some of us may not have had the opportunity of learning the correct usage when we were young. I shall try to study this book carefully, but I feel quite sure that there will always be both grammatical errors in what I write and mistakes in pronunciation in what I say. The best I can do is to try to correct my errors and be humbly grateful to anyone who gives me any assistance.
I have just received from the Roosevelt Memorial Association their new publication, the "Theodore Roosevelt Cyclopedia," edited by Mr. Albert Bushnell Hart and Mr. Herbert Ronald Ferleger. Mr. William Allen White has written the foreword and there are excerpts from people both here and abroad, praising Theodore Roosevelt as a man, writer, statesman and naturalist.
My uncle made a deep impression on me. I was enormously pleased when William Allen White once said to me at dinner, that my voice reminded him of his old friend, Theodore Roosevelt. I did not tell him how much I wished I had some of the other qualities which have made Theodore Roosevelt one of our unforgettable personalities. This book is a great source of pleasure as well as an interesting historical document, and I hope it will be be in every library.
Our guests are leaving us this morning. I, who had planned to fly to New York City, had to change my plans and take a train because of fog. I hope to be there in time for several appointments and a quiet dinner before attending the Newspaper Women's Ball at 10:30 tonight.