JULY 2, 1941
HYDE PARK, Monday—At 4:00 o'clock yesterday afternoon, we all gathered at the library and the President laughingly said it was the last time anyone would be able to see it free. At midnight last night, it was turned over to the Government and will be run by a board of trustees, the chairman of which is the Archivist of the United States.
The ceremonies were very simple. Our local Catholic priest, Father Mee, pronounced the invocation. The Postmaster General, Mr. Frank Walker, was master of ceremonies, for he has been chairman of the committee which raised the money to build the library. Mr. R.D.W. Connor, the Archivist of the United States, spoke very interestingly, and was followed by Professor Samuel Eliot Morison of Harvard University, who has a sense of humor which is quite delightful, and who combined his history and his sailing in the fogs of the Bay of Fundy in a truly enchanting manner.
The President then spoke and Judge Conger handed the trustees their parchments and administered to each one the oath of allegiance. Dr. Frank Wilson, our own rector, pronounced the benediction and the dedication was over.
Afterwards, I had an opportunity to talk to a number of people who took the trouble to come to Hyde Park. I was particularly glad to see Mr. Nathan Straus, Administrator of the U. S. Housing Authority, and to talk for a little while with him. Everywhere in the country I see evidence of the good work of the Authority and I am grateful to Senator Wagner's vision, which set up a medium for accomplishing, a comprehensive housing program, which will serve us not only in our present emergency, but will mean much in the future.
This is especially true because of the way in which Mr. Straus has developed an organization in which every branch consists of experts and men of high calibre. This can be accomplished only when one is creating a group which is to be continuous, and is not only for use during an emergency period.
Mrs. "Evie" Robert waved a package at me in the middle of the ceremonies, and I found she was the bearer of a most delightful blouse made by a woman from Missouri. Mrs. Robert told me she is planning a trip to South America, which she hopes to make useful by creating a sense of goodwill and by learning something which she can then impart to her fellow citizens on her return. I know she will create admiration for her beauty wherever she goes.
Mrs. Florence Kerr and Mrs. Anna Rosenberg spent the late afternoon and dined with us. Most of us had a swim and I was glad for my husband's sake, because during the ceremonies he looked as if he found the heat rather trying. There were guests at lunch today, but everyone is conscious of the heat, so we welcome a thunderstorm which is going on at the moment.