FEBRUARY 19, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—At the White House the other night, we were shown the movie, "Major Barbara." It is a very human story and one I think many of us will enjoy. I saw the play many years ago, and it has been well produced and is very effective as a movie.
Mrs. Helm, Miss Thompson and I went to a luncheon yesterday, given by Mrs. John Herrick as a second celebration for Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr.'s, birthday. If the number of parties given for some one is any indication of the affection that people have for that person, Mrs. Morgenthau should realize how many people have warm spots in their hearts for her.
The prizes won by Mrs. Herrick's dogs were on exhibition, and I was duly impressed. After lunch, when I saw the dogs running around outside, I could readily understand that they would be winners. They are really beautiful dogs, but "Fala," the President's little Scottie, still holds my heart. Though I have only a toy dog to keep him company at present, someday I shall have a live one when I really live in the country again.
We had a most interesting and delightful evening last night. Before our party began, I dropped in for a few minutes at a dinner given by one of Mrs. von Hesse's speech classes. Her youngest pupil recited a poem to music and it was really remarkably well done. I was back at the White House before our guests arrived.
After dinner, Mr. Alan Lomax, who has been collecting and making records of American folk songs for the Library of Congress, put on, under Mr. MacLeish's direction, a program partly sung by professionals and partly by boys from nearby Army, Navy and Marine Corps camps. I think everyone enjoyed the evening. The honors went about equally to the professionals and the non-professionals.
I hope these songs spread through all the branches of the services. I would like to see musical instruments available and records of these songs in the recreation centers of every group and in every community center near a camp throughout the country. I think it would serve to make us conscious of our own rich background of folk literature and music.
Our youngest grandchild is becoming quite accustomed to the White House. He is brought down every morning at nine and says: "How do you do?" to everyone at breakfast and then I take him on a round of vists. First he sees his grandfather, and there he has a grand time with "Fala," "Fala" likes him as much as he likes "Fala." He pokes his little hand right into the dog's mouth and gets it licked all over and smiles broadly when "Fala" dances round on his hind legs trying to reach him.
Then we visit all the other people who may be trying to rest in the morning and rouse them from their slumbers, so that they can admire the youngest member of the family before he goes back to play in his pen. He is a well disciplined baby for the rest of the day.