MARCH 25, 1941
GEORGETOWN, S.C., Monday— Saturday morning I spent an hour at the National Gallery of Art looking at the early Italian primitives. What a marvelous collection! It seemed to me I had never seen so many priceless treasures gathered together in one place. Mr. David Finley and his staff are particularly happy over the fact that they have had between eight and nine thousand visitors daily. So, beauty does appeal to the American public.
In the afternoon, I went to the concert at the Library of Congress to hear the Budapest String Quartet, which was a joy.
A few friends from New York City spent the weekend with me and on Saturday evening we saw the movie taken from Christopher Morley's book: "Kitty Foyle." Ginger Rogers certainly makes an attractive and charming young lady in the principal part, and I do not wonder the gentlemen fell for her charms.
On Sunday afternoon, I went to tea at Mrs. Florence Kerr's with the regional directors for the WPA community service projects. As usual, I was impressed with the amount of valuable service which the bulk of the WPA projects render in every possible field of community life.
This morning my car left bright and early to meet us in Georgetown, S. C., and at noon Miss Thompson and I flew down to stay there for the night with a friend. Before we left, Dr. Martha Eliot, of the Children's Bureau of the Department of Labor, came to my press conference this morning to tell a little more about her trip to England.
There seems to be one more fund appeal which cannot be ignored. It is the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund of the U.S.A., Inc. Their offices are at 515 Madison Ave., New York City, and they are helping the needy dependents of RAF pilots, gunners and observers, who are killed or disabled in the performance of their duty.
I think all of us have been stirred by the extraordinary services of the RAF, and you will perhaps be interested to know that the royalties from the books written by Lawrence of Arabia, were willed by him some time before his death to this fund, which was founded in 1919. He, himself, enlisted as a mechanic in the RAF and was known in the service as Aircraftsman Shaw.
One interesting thing about the fund is that neither in England nor in the United States, does a penny raised go to overhead. The necessary administrative expense is carried by the small group of people who were instrumental in setting up the fund.
Perhaps, because I like flying so much, I often think of that particular branch of the military services. I know that even in peace time pilots worry about the care of their families in case they "go west." The men who fly daily and nightly across the enemy lines may meet death almost any time. All we can do is to give them the assurance that those they leave behind will be well cared for.