MAY 25, 1942
WASHINGTON, Sunday—I returned here Friday in time to welcome Mademoiselle Curie and to receive several people in the afternoon. Among them was Miss Therese Bonney, who brought some very remarkable photographs as a gift to my husband for his library at Hyde Park. They were taken in various war-torn countries in Europe. I am keeping these photographs here for a time to show to various people, because some of them are really great contributions to the realization of what war brings in its wake.
It is always a joy to have Mlle. Curie here and it was extremely interesting to glean from her some of her impressions of the various countries she has visited on her extraordinary trip. She has a map on which she has traced her journeys, and someone at lunch yesterday, on looking over it, remarked to me: "She has outdistanced you many times."
Mlle. Curie certainly has both in mileage and in the variety and interest of her travels. One looks at this chic, well-groomed, delicate French woman and marvels at the calm with which she must have faced many dangerous moments, and one is proud of women!
Yesterday afternoon I went to a tea given by the Democratic Women's Council, to which they had invited groups of war workers from the different agencies. They are planning a series of such teas in the hope that they will bring together women who might not otherwise meet, and in this way make life a little pleasanter for the newcomers in Washington.
Yesterday evening we had some young people dine with us, because Miss Patricia Mountbatten came to spend the night. She will go back to England when she graduates from school this spring, to join the army of women workers in her own country.
After dinner, a number of government officials came in to see the moving pictures which Mr. Charles Palmer brought back from his trip to England. He went to study defense housing as it is over there today. The most interesting developments are in houses which, when peace comes, can be enlarged and changed so that they will look more like the traditional English workmen's homes.
Mr. Palmer says that in England the war effort has had to be so great, people have not had time to develop substitutes and are, therefore, going without a great many things. Of necessity, this must temporarily lower the standard of living and we are fortunate indeed that we have time to develop substitutes for many of our needs.