NOVEMBER 11, 1941
WASHINGTON, Monday—I thought yesterday was going to be a very quiet, lazy morning! Immediately after breakfast, Miss Agnes Inglis brought her four adopted children, two of them English refugee children, to see me. We went over the second floor of the White House together.
She is starting across the country in a trailer to visit migratory camps, so as to make a study of the migratory labor situation. The boys were in a state of very great excitement at the prospect of this adventurous trip, and I can think of no better way to get a first impression of the country.
Then, one after another, people came to see me. Before I knew it, it was lunchtime! Franklin, Jr., called us about noon. He had arrived in Portland, Me., at 7:00 a.m. and was on his way out to sea again at 3:00 p.m. He sounded well and cheerful, though he insisted that his responsibilities were bringing grey hairs to his head prematurely!
The fog seems to be one of their main difficulties. I always feel helpless when fog descends upon me and only the mournful foghorn gives me a sense of attachment to anything else beyond the grey blanket around me.
I flew over to New York City, because I had an appointment there at 4:00 o'clock with a gentleman who has to spend the winter in Florida and wishes to volunteer his services to work in the civilian defense setup there. Then, some friends came in, I went to my broadcast, and from there straight to the dinner given in the interest of ORT.
This charity has long provided education for Jewish boys and girls to prepare them for agriculture and industry. They send machinery abroad, not only for purposes of training, but to help people establish themselves in various occupations.
At present, this work is greatly restricted, but they are still able to function in some places and certainly it is very necessary to carry on wherever possible.
All the labor organizations in New York City were represented at the dinner and they turned it into a tribute to me, which was slightly embarrassing, even though I was deeply appreciative of all the kind things which were said. Parties such as this bring home to me how very kind people are, and also the great responsibility we all carry these days to work together to make our country united and strong.
This morning, we held a meeting of the staff at the Office of Civilian Defense, augmented by 22 members of the State Defense Councils. The rest of the day I have spent at the autumn meeting of the Rosenwald Fund Trustees.