MAY 28, 1942
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I left Washington yesterday morning on the 11:00 o'clock train for Philadelphia, where I was met and taken to Allentown, Pa., for the Muhlenberg Bicentennial Celebration.
I had wondered whether the floods would interfere with this trip, for we had to motor from Philadelphia and from there to New York City after the evening meeting. However, I had no word to the contrary and started off. It turned out to be an interesting and delightful day.
The Muhlenbergs have been a very remarkable family and this celebration has become one which receives nationwide notice.
Before leaving the station yesterday, I was able to drop in at the USO lounge room and canteen for soldiers who are passing through the Union Station in Washington. They are using the President's Reception Room and I was happy to see how it had been adapted to this new purpose. It is pleasant to think of it being really useful to the men.
While the State Department has reserved the right to change it back to a reception room if necessary, for the reception of important dignitaries, I feel very sure that will not often have to be done. In fact, I am not at all certain that the dignitaries would not be more interested in seeing it as it is, than in coming to the bare, cold room it used to be where the first formal greetings were exchanged.
I have just seen an account of what one woman in England has accomplished in her garden through intensive gardening and preserving. I think it will spur some of our own women if I tell them a little bit about it.
Mrs. Carlotta Oppenheimer owned an estate which was largely devoted to flower gardens. When the war started she decided her best contribution would be to secure the maximum production from her gardens and put them to a specialized use—her jam factory. With no previous experience in vegetable gardening or cooking, she managed with a small staff from July of last year to June of this year, to turn over to the hospitals in the armed forces, three-quarters of a ton each of onions, beet roots and carrots; a ton of beans, peas and sprouts; a ton of plums, 27 tons of potatoes, thousands of heads of lettuce and cauliflower, thousands of tomatoes, dozens of cucumbers and melons.
With Mrs. Kooyker, she made 1903 pounds of cakes, 3300 pounds of jams, marmalades, pickles and chutney, 1500 bottles of fruit and tomatoes, and innumerable other things I have no room to tell you about!