MARCH 5, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—The trip to New York City yesterday was quiet and uneventful. I managed to choose an Easter dress, to buy my niece a wedding present, and finally to go to a meeting of the Art for China Committee, where some little children from Chinatown were waiting to be photographed with me.
One little girl presented me with some tea, and we had much the same kind of conversation one would have had with children ranging from seven to thirteen, no matter what their nationality. These little ones had on their native Chinese costumes, but their feet and legs showed distinctly that their home was in the United States. Good, stout, heavy low shoes and woolen stockings, which reached up to the knees, reminded me of my own youngsters. When a young lady held a seven-year-old boy up to present me with a poster of the exhibition, he showed very clearly in his own person the combination of the East and the West so far as clothes were concerned.
I spent a gay evening dining in a little restaurant with some friends and then saw one of the most popular plays in New York City, called "Arsenic and Old Lace." I liked Miss Josephine Hull's acting in the part of the sweet and charming and slightly mad old lady murderess, as much as I did when she was the unruffled and eccentric mother in "You Can't Take It With You."
In fact, I thought all the parts were well acted. I enjoyed the play, though I will confess I thought the murders were a little too numerous in spots. I began to wonder if I could laugh any longer at what, after all, is a rather sad and tragic subject.
This morning, Countess Alexandra Tolstoy climbed up three flights of stairs to my apartment to tell me something of the plight of some of her Russian refugees in the South of France. She has promised to write me a little more about the whole situation, so you probably have not heard the last of another sad tale.
This morning also I attended the meeting of the Joint Distribution Committee and the National Refugee Service Committee. They are opening their campaign and making a united drive for funds. I must say that from the number of people who attended this morning, I feel sure they will not lack workers. This group has done a wonderful piece of work abroad in making assistance available in places where it is most difficult for anyone to work today. At the same time, they make sure that no refugee landing on our shores becomes a public charge.
I flew down to Washington at 1:00 o'clock and arrived in time to do a number of things before my first appointments, which began at four-thirty. I am very grateful to the weather man, because if I had had to take a train today, I certainly would have had to leave a great many things undone.