JANUARY 8, 1942
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I had a chance to see the tremendous development at the naval ammunition base at Hingham, Mass., yesterday. Then, before lunch, our hostesses, Mrs. Gordon MacGregor and Mrs. Janet Raymond, took us to a meeting of the League of Women Voters. Afterwards, Mrs. MacGregor and I went over all the very beautiful pictures for her book. Then Miss Thompson and I caught the 4:20 plane and arrived in New York City in time to dine at home and go to the theatre.
I had planned on seeing "In Time To Come," but on getting out of the taxi, I was confronted by two pickets who belonged to the Musicans Union. I do not cross a picket line and so I turned in my tickets. Mr. Meyer Davis and his daughter, who came up while I was standing on the sidewalk, felt as I did about crossing the picket line.
I must add, however, that I am writing a line on this subject to the head of the union. In war time it is considered essential to play "The Star Spangled Banner," but to employ musicians for this purpose and this purpose only, seems to be rather difficult. They certainly could not make a living wage on a short engagement of this kind. In this particular case, the theatre was being picketed because it was using a record instead of employing musicians.
We crossed the street and obtained tickets for "Best Foot Forward," which gave us an entertaining evening before we caught the night train to Washington.
There opened today, in New York City, by the Karamu Artists, an exhibition at the Associated American Artists Galleries, 711 Fifth Avenue. Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio, has developed Negro artists in the theatre, dance, music, painting, graphic and plastic arts. I am sure this exhibition will be of great interest to those who care about the contribution to American culture of all our people.
Mr. Aubrey Williams came to breakfast with me this morning and I went to the Office of Civilian Defense for a few minutes before attending a committee meeting at the office of Administrator McNutt, which lasted until 12:00 o'clock. Later I had a talk with Mr. Knudsen and Mr. Sidney Hillman. Then three people came to lunch, all of them on business.
I occasionally wonder if there could at any time be anything but business, even at meals, because that is the only thing which brings people to Washington these days! I am now on my way back to the Office of Civilian Defense for the afternoon.