May 16, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday the Cabinet ladies and I gave our annual picnic luncheon for the ladies of the Senate and were fortunate in having a beautiful day. We recalled last year that several showers disturbed our lunch, but this year the only thing which disturbed us was speculation as to what was the real explanation of Mr. Rudolf Hess.
I surmise that there are few people in this country who have not speculated on that subject during the last few days. The writers of mystery stories must agree that reality has outdistanced almost any plot in fiction.
A number of people came to tea yesterday and in the evening I went to hear Mr. Leopold Stokowski and his All-American Youth Orchestra. The program was beautiful and one could not have wanted a more finished performance. Everyone with me enjoyed every minute of the evening.
After coping for some time now with almost perfectly straight hair, for I wanted to wait as long as possible before having a permanent wave again, I went this morning and spent three hours and a half at the hairdresser. I always feel as though it is a terrible waste of time, but this morning I accomplished much reading, which otherwise would have remained undone on the bench beside my desk. Incidentally, my hair will be easier to deal with for some time to come.
I read one book for the Junior Literary Guild and began a story written by a friend of mine, which I enjoyed very much and which I hope will find a publisher.
Somewhat late and somewhat breathless, I arrived at the luncheon given by the ladies of the 76th Congress. They were so kind about my delay that I recovered very quickly from the apologetic state of mind in which I arrived. I enjoyed not only my neighbors, but the lovely table decorations and the Marine Band's music.
Afterwards, I went to see the exhibition of water colors at the National Gallery of Art, which will be open to the public this afternoon. From 10,000 water colors sent in from the United States, Hawaii and the District of Columbia, 300 were picked out for a federal hospital in Louisiana. The variety of subjects is entertaining, and I think the water colors will add immeasurably in color and interest to all the rooms in the hospital.
It is interesting to find that most of the painters exhibiting are under 30 years of age and come from 27 states, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. There are 51 women and 103 men represented. I think everyone will find this exhibition enjoyable.