OCTOBER 17, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of receiving the members of the Women's Club of Martinsburg, West Virginia. Some two hundred strong, they had come to Washington and were spending the day sightseeing and shopping. I always enjoy seeing people from West Virginia and the opportunity to talk to them about some of the things they are doing in that most interesting State.
Later in the afternoon, I again had the pleasure of meeting with the regional directors of the Social Security Board. This time I heard them discuss some of the problems which are facing them, not only today, but in the future. Very wisely, they are thinking not only of such things as they may have to meet now, but of what may come when the present emergency is at an end and another period of readjustment is before us.
It is a great satisfaction to me to find so many groups looking forward and planning ahead, so that we shall not be caught unawares. I find this one of the most encouraging signs, for it shows that some of us, at least, are able to profit by experiences in the past.
I was at work all evening, but finally sat down to a long chat with my daughter and her husband. This morning, I was off to the Office of Civilian Defense early, and back in time for lunch with my two children and the Secretary of the Interior and Mrs. Ickes.
Today I received several postcards which interested me very much. Suddenly people seem to have the urge to put their innermost secrets on postcards! One person asks me kindly to arrest three other people, asserting that they are guilty of slander. It never seems to occur to the gentleman that the power of arrest lies in the hands of certain special individuals, authorized by the Government, and if I started usurping their rights, they might be somewhat indignant.
I also have a postcard which directs that I shall bring certain practices of a local draft board to the attention of the President, and to no one else. The writers are apparently not at all interested in asking the proper people at the head of the draft service in their difficulties. In fact, they tell me, that if the President, himself, cannot take a hand in this matter, under no circumstances am I to give the postcard to any one else!
However, these two cards show a confidence in the fact that the White House will take an interest in private matters which are brought to its attention. I think this is very flattering and am very grateful to both of these writers, though I am afraid I cannot do anything about either request which meets their desires.