MAY 10, 1941
HYDE PARK, Friday—Our trip from Chicago to New York City on Wednesday evening was somewhat rough in spots and we passed through a number of electrical storms. As I sat back and watched all the heads of the people in front of me in the plane, I could not help wondering about what goes through everybody's mind when the light flashes on which says: "Fasten your seat belt."
Those who are not happy in the air must have some uncomfortable minutes wondering if it is going to be rough enough to upset their insides. However, I am always impressed by the good sportsmanship which people show, even when they may be going through their first airplane experience and are wondering whether the plane can stand such violent bumps and shifts in the air. You can usually tell an old-timer, because he will look reassuringly and smilingly at his neighbors when they experience a particularly upsetting motion.
Yesterday, in New York City, I was photographed with the Chinese Consul and an attractive young Chinese girl, who wore the dress which is going to be presented to Madame Chiang Kai-shek. It was made in this country from material of Chinese design. All of these designs have some meaning in Chinese and I think they make very charming materials.
I was also presented with a dress made from one of these designs, which I shall wear with great pleasure during the summer. A percentage of the proceeds from the sales of these materials will go to Chinese relief. Of all the various pins given by the organizations helping different countries, I think the little ones designed by the Chinese Relief Fund are, perhaps, the least conspicuous and the easiest to wear by men and women. I came away with several in different colors, which had been presented to me.
We drove to Hyde Park after an early supper in New York City. For some unknown reason I was particularly wide awake last night, in spite of rather short hours of sleep during the last few days. I finished marking what mail I had and then read to the end of Eric Knight's novel: "This Above All."
I think you will find it interesting reading. Parts of it are so painful I could hardly go on, but other parts are very beautifully written. Much of the mental and emotional struggle which the characters go through will be a familiar experience to many men and women in many countries of the world.
The questions that stir the souls and minds of young men and young women today have no easy solutions. One can only hope that out of them will come a determination really to build a better world, no matter what we have to go through in achieving it.
This morning I spoke at the Franklin D. Roosevelt High School and left the young people discussing with experts the possible careers opening up before them.