JANUARY 15, 1942
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—The Library of Congress, with the help of people throughout the country who have recording machines, has been gathering some interesting material on the opinions of people on the "state of the nation" at the present moment.
Monday, Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Collins Jr., from North Carolina, and various other people from the Library of Congress, spent half an hour playing these records for me. I must say it was extraordinarily interesting to hear men of the farm, factory, the small town and the big city, voicing their opinions in a manner which will really make history seem alive in the future. I hope something can be done to get these records before the public now.
On Monday afternoon, I opened the "Miles of Dimes" on the corner of Fourteenth Street, and was followed by the Commissioners of the District. And so, the first activity of the District of Columbia's fight against infantile paralysis has begun.
That afternoon, I also went to the Newspaper Women's Club, where the Chinese Ambassador gave me a cup of tea from a most interesting copper stove. It is similar to the old Dutch stoves, which not only radiate heat, but keep the water on the top at the boiling point.
Last evening, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Adamic and my cousin, Mr. Monroe Douglas Robinson, who is just back from Peru, dined with us and then went with Miss Thompson and me to the concert given by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Arturo Toscanini conducted and it was a wonderful evening.
I kept remembering a picture I had seen in the papers of Mr. Toscanini being photographed and examined as he went from state to state, and I must say this situation seems to me rather tragic. There is an element of comedy, however, in suggesting that Mr. Toscanini needs thus to be classified.
I spent a good part of the morning today at the Tolan Committee hearing, where Mayor La Guardia and Dean Landis testified, and where my testimony was followed by Administrator McNutt's.
Fortunately, I have only a few appointments at the office today, so I shall be able to catch up on the morning's mail this afternoon. I shall also make a brief address at the Congressional Club, where the wives of members of Congress have asked me to come to suggest ways in which they can make their best contribution to civilian defense.