NOVEMBER 5, 1941
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Before I left Washington yesterday, I took the pledge which Miss Harriet Elliott is eventually going to ask all householders in the country to take during Civilian Defense Week.
Knowing quite well that, in the White House, it would be impossible for either Mrs. Nesbitt or me to sign this pledge honestly without the cooperation of the whole White House staff, I asked all those who were on duty at noon to meet me.
I explained its meaning, particularly in not wasting anything. I urged them all to sign the pledge individually when it comes out, and to try to live up to it in the White House. I hope, also, that they will persuade their own families to join with us. They were most cooperative and my first suggestion came immediately from Mrs. Nesbitt who said that we had certain things that were always left over after a big party, which could be sent to the Self-Help Cooperative Farm and fed to their animals. So we have found one useful outlet for leftovers which could not be used at all on our own table.
We hope very shortly to have a correspondence course available in the Office of Civilian Defense. It is a fairly simple study on nutrition and the duty of the consumer. Many people who cannot attend classes, may be able to read these courses and go to a Volunteer Bureau or Consumer's Information Bureau once to take a test. This will then make it possible for every household to feel it is part of the civilian defense effort.
My plane landed in New York City on time yesterday. It seemed a very short flight, because I had so much in my briefcase to read and was so sleepy that I accomplished nothing between naps. We drove to Hyde Park and found that everyone had had a busy day. The President enjoyed speaking to the teachers of the county in our Consolidated High School. He has some very decided views on education, which I think are very practical.
Princess Juliana had been over to Millbrook to see some friends, and then had gone to the school meeting and driven around with the President, so she had a busy day too. Mrs. Helm and Miss Thompson joined us for dinner, and all of us were glad to spend a quiet evening around the fire.
This morning we went up to Hyde Park Village a little after 11:00 o'clock to vote, and I explained what a voting machine was like to Princess Juliana. She told me that they still use pencils in Holland, and that women are not allowed to vote until they are twenty-five.