APRIL 29, 1941
LOS ANGELES, Monday—Yesterday we listened in a pleasant living room to Mr. Winston Churchill speak, so many thousand miles away. One must admire a man who can trust the people of his country so completely that he can tell them stark naked, cruel truths unafraid. That quality of courage is a kind of challenge which calls to the very depth of other human souls.
Mr. Churchill can use the English language so that it rings and pounds the emotion behind the words into your brain. He knows the value of contrast. Though it is years since I have read the poem which he quoted, I can think of none better to fit the occasion. When all is said and done, however, what remains with me is his stark sincerity and indomitable courage.
At 12:30 we hurried down to the NYA center to see a colossal and fine statue of the President.
Miss Thompson and I lunched with Mrs. Jerome Schneider and my daughter-in-law, Romelle. In the afternoon many people came to the Douglas' house for tea. The patio buzzed with conversation and for me it was most exciting. To meet and talk with people whose work one has long admired is always a thrilling experience.
Meeting James Hilton, Burgess Meredith, Mary McCall, Dorothy Parker and many others actually in the flesh, was an experience which I had never hoped to have. To know that many of the people who were here yesterday had worked in the last campaign for the President and that most of them believe in what he stands for, was most inspiring.
So often you have to be glad because of your friends. I keep saying to myself, even if some programs are wrong, the ideas in back of them must be right or the people wouldn't be with us in the fight for democracy.
It was particularly nice also to see again some familiar faces. Mr. Marc Connelly, who was so patient in the broadcast which I had the fun of presiding over in the last campaign; Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Mann, whose short time with us in the White House was such a pleasure; and our old friend, Mr. Eddie Dowling, who is here acting in the play "Time of Your Life," which we enjoyed so much last year in New York.
After dinner, we went over to Mr. Walt Disney's studio and he was kind enough to show us some of the work he is doing for defense. I liked particularly the drawings before they reach the color stage, and was very glad to find one artist at work in the studio and to see what the process of making these drawings really means. These cute little figures may teach us many lessons in the future, as well as provide the entertainment on which we have come to count.
Breakfast on the porch this morning, and now big envelopes of mail from Washington to keep us busy until we go to lunch.