FEBRUARY 14, 1942
SYRACUSE, N.Y., Friday—One of my old friends remarked yesterday that it was a curious thing how willing we are to ask artists to contribute their time, their money and their talents for charitable and civic purposes, and yet we will not concede that they have a right to take part in a broad effort of preparation for war on a paid, or an unpaid basis. It doesn't seem exactly a generous attitude on the part of the public, does it?
This is, of course, merely a prelude to saying that I am delighted that Mr. Melvyn Douglas is to make it possible for many people in the artistic professions, who have offered their services in the war effort, actually to do things which will contribute to the morale of the nation.
The gentlemen who spoke so harshly about him seem not to be aware of the fine work which Mr. and Mrs. Douglas have done in the migrant camps in California. I wonder how many of them can match the generosity to good causes which these two people have shown.
Sometimes I wonder whether harsh words or ignorance will not someday be paid for in bitterness of spirit. It seems to me that there is somewhere in the Bible a statement, which runs:" And now abideth, faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
I spent more than half an hour with Franklin, Jr., in the hospital Wednesday morning and found him extraordinarily well. He let me read a part of his diary. Whatever else these young men may have on board ship, it can hardly be called a dull life.
I lunched with some friends on Wednesday and at 6:00 o'clock went down to the opening of the Carnival for Democracy, where many organizations have joined together to give information about their work. Interesting booths were put up for this purpose.
This being the annual Negro History Week, I found two booths at the Carnival, which gave information illustrative of the things which we should know about the Negro's contribution to our nation.
Mrs. Morgenthau, Miss Thompson and I dined together and went to see and hear "Porgy and Bess." I had seen it once before, but I could not resist going again. We spent a delightful evening before Mrs. Morgenthau and I started by train for Ithaca, N. Y., for Farm and Home Week at Cornell University.
Today we shall be in Syracuse and Schenectady, and we shall be back in New York City tonight.