APRIL 7, 1942
WASHINGTON, Monday—I reached New York City yesterday afternoon in time to visit a friend, and to have a young friend of mine, who is about to join the RAF, come in to say goodbye. For his training, he is going to the West Coast, where his family lives.
He taught me a very good lesson. Unthinkingly, when I heard that he had been turned down by our own air force, I remarked that I wished he had tried for another branch of our own service, rather than join up with the English boys. His answer was: "But, Mrs. Roosevelt, this is our war, so I shall be in our service."
That is, of course, perfectly true and shows how unthinking one can be, even when one knows that our boys are fighting side by side with the Chinese, Dutch and English boys and those from all the United Nations.
After my broadcast and a quiet dinner, I had another rather late appointment. I reached the Pennsylvania Station to find it, as usual, crowded with soldiers, sailors and marines. This crowd was considerably augmented by a number of civilians, who were also traveling. I was, therefore, not surprised to find that there was some confusion about my reservation, and was perfectly delighted when they discovered that the confusion did not mean I would have to sleep in an upper berth, though I was quite prepared to do so.
Washington is already experiencing wartime difficulties. There are fewer taxicabs and many people were waiting for them this morning. They stood guard over their bags with no vehicle in sight. I discovered two gentlemen, whom I knew, and took them in the car with me. I also offered to pick up two soldiers, who seemed to be waiting an unconscionable time, but they were going in the opposite direction so I was of no help.
At 11:00 o'clock this morning, I had a press conference, followed by a talk with two gentlemen. Then a variety of people came to lunch. Every age was gathered around the table, from one of my nieces, aged ten, to myself. At 3:30, my niece, Amy Roosevelt's, high school class, from Birmingham, Mich., came in for a brief reception. At 4:00 o'clock, Diana Hopkins and some of her friends and a few younger children came in for an Easter egg hunt and some movies, followed by an early supper.
The red letter part of my day was when Mr. and Mrs. Donald Culross Peattie came to tea, which we had for the first time this spring on the South Porch!