MAY 27, 1941
REEDSVILLE, W. Va., Monday—We left the White House yesterday morning at nine. At first the sun was hidden and it looked as if we would get hazy views. Gradually the sun came out and the country through we crossed looked beautifully green. The laurel was out and, in one or two places, I saw it blooming really abundantly.
Incidentally, the magnolia tree planted by Andrew Jackson, which I look down on from my sitting room windows in the White House has just begun to flower. Several large white blossoms have opened and by the time I return on Tuesday, I expect to rejoice in its full beauty. I look forward to it every year, for these great white cups send up a faint perfume. If anything would inspire me to write a poem, their flowering would do so.
As usual, we stopped for lunch at the hotel in Romney, West Virginia. Then Mrs. Morgenthau and I left the rest of the party and motored up to Cumberland, Md., to see Mrs. Byron, who is running for Congress. I hope she will be elected, for she will be the first woman to hold that office from the State of Maryland.
I think, of course, that women should be elected not because their husbands have held office, but because they are fitted to do certain work. I feel sure that, in Mrs. Byron's case, her ability will soon be proved.
By the time we returned to Romney, the rest of our party had finished lunch and had started for Arthurdale, which they reached some time before we did. I do not think I drove my fastest, because this is my first long drive of the year and I am always a cautious person.
I was reminded, as we went along, of my conversation with Franklin, Jr., last night. I telephoned him to find out when, after his automobile accident, he was going to be able to rejoin the destroyer to which he is assigned. He told me he hoped he could go aboard today, if his ship was still in port. Otherwise, he will have to await her return. Knowing that he would be driving to Newport, R.I., today, I urged him to be careful. His response was: "I feel like a timid old lady." This is a perfect description of me.
After supper here at the Arthurdale Inn, Mrs. Morgenthau, Mr. Pickett and I went over to the Arthurdale Advisory Committee meeting. Mr. Morris Ernst went along as an interested observer. The most encouraging thing was to find that more people here are earning better wages.
We start early this day to see the project and arrive there by eight-thirty. I shall tell you all the details tomorrow.