FEBRUARY 6, 1942
CHICAGO, Thursday —I did a little work yesterday on the train and wrote a few letters which I hope may be readable. I rather doubt that they will be, because, at best, my handwriting is none too legible, and when I add the movement of a train it becomes very like the scrawl of a very uncertain fly.
At Chattanooga, Tenn., I got out and walked up and down the platform and watched with interest a lady who was also taking the air, attired in white silk slacks and a mink coat. Later on, while we were eating dinner, two young girls came into our drawing room. They were on their way from Miami, Florida, and I imagine that a good many people are returning from visits to what should have been a warmer climate. In any case, these two girls were tanned, which spoke well for the warmth of the sun, even though they insisted that the air had been chilly. They were autograph hunting and, having stalked their game, retired contentedly.
The conductor gave us an opportunity to come out of our den to see the Chickamauga Dam. We both came to this dam with the President and a tremendous crowd when it was dedicated on a very warm day. I can still remember Governor Cooper's mother standing in the sun. Everyone, tried to find chairs for her and for me, while the ceremonies went on. The view of the dam was much better today and I was interested to see the little boats which are on 24 hour patrol duty to make sure that no harm comes to this particular source of power.
When we were not eating, working or writing, I read two issues of the "Saturday Evening Post." In one of these in a good story by Clarence Buddington Kelland. I cannot help wondering why anyone, who writes such nice fiction, should want to turn his talent to facts or near-facts of the political world, but perhaps his talent for fiction is a help.
Then I read a very interesting copy of the "Survey Graphic," an issue of "Liberty," an issue of "Time" and some articles from the "Free World." One of these, on the cost of life in the past few years of war, and the other on Hitler's criminal code, made cold shivers run up and down my spine. How dare we be so wasteful of human beings? It must seem to the great power above that we are presuming mightily on His prerogatives.
Not a very active day, but on the whole a pleasant one. I was just as sleepy last night as though I had been out for a long day of exercise in the open air. Up early this morning and spent a brief time at the hotel before starting for my visit to the University of Illinois.