January 2, 1942
WASHINGTON, Thursday—It was a very small party which gathered here last night. Unlike other years, we had no children with us and, knowing we could not reach them all by telephone, we contented ourselves with sending telegrams. Some of them went out into space, with very little idea of when or where they would be received.
For the past several years, Bishop Atwood and the Reverend Endicott Peabody have dined with us on New Year's Eve whenever they were in Washington, and we had a few other friends. The President's annual toast to the United States meant more to everyone of us than ever before.
This morning, Prime Minister Churchill and our English visitors returned to us. Hard work will begin again on the military and production problems, for we are still in the first period of this war and must make the maximum contribution possible in our preparations.
A few nights ago, we saw here the two-reel defense film called "Main Street on the March," which I think should be widely circulated. The other night, when I gave my Christmas party for the staff of the Office of Civilian Defense, we had a film called "Joe Smith—American," which everyone seemed to enjoy very much, and which is also timely to show.
At this same party, two South American artists gave us a delightful performance. One, Miss Maria Ines Gomez-Carillo, a very young Argentine pianist, played beautifully and then danced for us. She is here on a fellowship from her government to give concerts in this country. Since she is so young, I wish she could perform at many of our colleges.
Madame Olga Praguer Coelho, of Brazil, gave us a program of songs, sung to her guitar, which she plays remarkably. Many of you have heard her over the radio, but watching her adds enormously to the pleasure of her performance.
Finally, one of our own composers, Mr. Earl Robinson, sang some modern folk songs and some of his own compositions, which was a fitting climax. I only hope that all my guests had as good a time as I did.
Today was proclaimed a day of prayer, so the President and I, with all our guests, went to Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., where Washington's pew is still pointed out. Then we went on to Mt. Vernon, where the Prime Minister laid a wreath on George Washington's tomb.