MAY 9, 1942
WASHINGTON, Friday —Yesterday afternoon the President went to the airport to meet the President of Peru, Dr. Manuel Prado. Even in war time, certain honors may be paid to the heads of governments. They reached the White House together about 5:00 o'clock. The President of Peru's son, who is in his last year at Harvard as a student, met him. We had tea on the porch with the rest of the party.
Our new Ambassador to Spain, Professor Hayes, joined us. It was very pleasant as we sat there and the troubles of the world seemed far away for a short time. But the talk soon centered on the things we all had to do to win the war and to be able to return to normal development in the days of peace to come.
Dr. Prado brought thirty pieces of old Indian pottery, dating as far back as the Fourth Century. We were greatly impressed by the beauty of shape and design. I was interested to find that it reminded me of work done in both Persia and Egypt. I was told the Indians no longer do this work today, but have guarded the secret and, perhaps, someday will be at work again. Dr. Prado also gave me a hand-wrought silver tray from Senora Prado. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of work I have ever seen. I hope we can put all of these things on exhibition somewhere, so that they may be seen and enjoyed by many people.
The President had an official stag dinner last night in honor of the President of Peru. I slipped in to say goodnight to them at 11:00 o'clock, after returning from the radio station where I had joined in a 15-minute broadcast which summed up some of the proceedings of the Pan-American Child Congress.
I had another delightful surprise today when I was called on the telephone to talk to a gentleman who had just flown in from distant parts and brought me a message from our son, Jimmy. This gentleman is starting back shortly and I am going to be able to send Jimmy a letter by him. This is really very exciting, because mail takes endless days to reach the places where our boys now are. To know that your boy is hard at work, happy and well, starts you off in a rosy colored world.
On May 10th, the Writer's War Committee is going to remind us of the fact that nine years ago the Nazis burned some world famous works and immortal books. Thereby, they offended the whole free world. On this anniversary, the democracies everywhere will reaffirm their belief that good books are a necessary part of civilization.