FEBRUARY 27, 1941
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I gave the last very large and formal luncheon at the White House yesterday, and in the afternoon I attended a tea given by the Episcopal Church Society. Lady Halifax was in the receiving line, and the photographers, as usual, took this occasion to take as many pictures as they could.
I should tell you something about an effort which the National Council of the Protestant Churches is undertaking. Eighteen churches have set up special national committees for the relief of refugees and victims of war. They are going to make their appeal for funds and will carry on all their activities through a coordinating committee, and the actual work will be done through already established agencies.
Though these funds are being raised by the Protestant churches, there will be no discrimination, either racial or religious, in giving aid. March 2nd, is the Sunday when this drive for funds will culminate, though as a matter of fact, there will be a continuation of the work all through the year as long as the need exists throughout the world.
Several people came to tea yesterday afternoon. Among them was a most interesting gentleman who has worked out a method whereby, without too much difficulty, you may make your own shoes if you wish. They do not look exactly like custom made shoes, but they are comfortable and people who have a gift with handcrafts, will probably find this a new craft to be developed which will prove useful to people not much concerned with fashion.
Last night, the President and I, with several other guests, attended a performance in Washington of "The Man Who Came To Dinner" with Mr. Alexander Woollcott playing the part of "Sheridan Whiteside." It was one of the few times I have ever seen the National Theatre packed, no empty seats were to be seen. I have seen this play before, but there were some changes in lines, and when Mr. Woollcott acts in it himself, his appearance adds greatly to the flavor of the scenes.
So far as I am concerned, Mr. Woollcott is one of my favorite guests and I hope he will always consider himself not only welcome, but sought after. However, if one incurred his displeasure, the imp in "The Man Who Came To Dinner" might conceivably come forth even in my most welcome guest.
Between the play and the supper, which we had for the members of the cast after the performance, I went in for a few seconds to the ball given for the Thrift Shop, a most successful entertainment over which Mrs. Williams always presides. To end the evening, I took the train for New York City, where I arrived this morning to attend the meeting of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children. A summary of the work done by the Committee thus far, shows that 850 children are in this country under our care.