MAY 6, 1942
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Last night, in New York City, Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and I went to see "The Moon Is Down." I had, of course, heard that the criticisms of this play were poor. Some people thought it put the Germans in too favorable a light. Many people apparently thought it was just not a good play. I am no judge, but I found the evening a very interesting one.
The type of resistance which the Norwegians put up became more real to me in action on the stage than it had been in the book. I felt that, on the whole, the play was well cast. The lines that I remembered from the book came out on the stage more clearly and with greater emphasis. I think this play is a valuable contribution at this time and I hope a great many people will go to see it.
We left New York City this morning and I was here in time for my press conference. A few people are coming to lunch and to tea today. With a few other appointments this makes up what will be perforce a day spent catching up on mail.
I have a notice from Mr. Myron W. Whitney, of the Washington Choral Society, in which he tells me not only of the pleasure which the society gives to its audiences, but of the opportunity it affords to newcomers here who have qualifications for voice and ear and a desire to join with other people of like interests. At present, people are being shifted to other places, men are going into the services and this constantly changing scene makes a greater opportunity for new people to participate.
I am not mentioning this just because it is something that is being done in Washington, but because I feel so strongly that singing is one of the things which is of the greatest value to people's morale in times of stress. When groups get together it stimulates the writing of songs. I am a great believer in the expression of all the arts which come from the people themselves.
A committee has been formed among certain members of the Phi Delta Kappa to eliminate racial discrimination. I am very happy to find that my own feelings that racial discrimination should be removed from an organization of this kind, is shared by such people as Mr. Raymond A. Kent, President of the University of Louisville; Mr. John Dale Russell, Secretary of the Department of Education of the University of Chicago; Mr. George S. Counts, of Columbia University, and many others of equally fine standing. In educational circles, I hope this marks a real effort to do something at home to face a situation we must face all over the world if we expect a foundation for the more lasting peace to come out of this war.