OCTOBER 27, 1941
WASHINGTON, Sunday—On Friday, my plane was an hour late in arriving. As I sat reading, waiting for it to be called at the airport, a voice suddenly said: "Hello Auntie Eleanor," and my nephew, Mr. Douglas Robinson, stood beside me. He had just arrived to keep an appointment, which may cause him to come to Washington to work.
Needless to say, I was half an hour late for every appointment in New York City, but the group which was waiting to present me with the seeds, which I was to start on their way to Queen Elizabeth in England, was very kind and understanding. The ceremonies were short and I reached home in plenty of time for my late afternoon appointments. In the evening, I attended the dinner given by the American Labor Education Service, Inc.
The cause which they serve is of particular importance at the present time, for if labor is not well educated in questions of history and economics, our problems in these critical years will be more serious than ever. Dr. Max Lerner gave a most interesting speech. He has the gift of starting his listeners on new lines of thought, which I think is one of the most inspiring things that a speaker can do.
Yesterday I did manage to do a little Christmas shopping, but from 11:00 o'clock on, I devoted myself to a series of meetings. First, the New York Women's Trade Union League held its annual fall conference in the Hunter College High School auditorium. The head of the Textile Union made an extremely interesting speech there. It had a grasp of the problems of the future and a determination to face and to plan for them, which gave me a great sense of satisfaction.
Then I lunched with the Summer Play Schools Association. They were celebrating their 25th year of service to the children of New York City. Out of her intimate knowledge of the work which has been done, Mrs. Herbert Lehman spoke charmingly. Then Dr. William Neilson gave a really wonderful address, pointing out to us that we can never build a better world until we rid ourselves of fears which drive even the conquerors today.
I was a little late at the Foreign Policy Association Forum, but they had such a galaxy of speakers that I think it mattered very little where civilian defense came in for discussion. I walked home with Mrs. von Hesse, who had come to meet me there, and who told me that her book is selling very well, which was good news.