JULY 30, 1942
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I am really beginning to think that my column has some value as a distributor of information. I am rather overwhelmed over the various items which have come to me in the last few days, and the requests that I discuss them in my column. All of them I cannot cover, but some of them seem to me to be particularly pertinent to the times. Gradually I shall pick out the more interesting inquiries and statements which come in, and shall try to mention them here.
We had the unusual pleasure of having the President and the Vice-President lunch with us yesterday, instead of their remaining in the Executive office. In the afternoon I saw two members of my family off for New York City. Miss Jane Seaver brought her fiance, Ensign James Russell, to dine, and the first of Mr. Hopkins' family to arrive, David, joined us. After those pleasant interludes, I worked on my mail most of the day, and here are some of the things which I ran across that seem worthy of mention.
A lady who acts as a chaperone at dances given for servicemen in a Southern city, asks what I think of the propriety of taking buses or streetcars, when wearing long evening dresses. She says that it will be almost impossible to transport these young ladies by car, and yet that the dances really give more pleasure when the girls are in evening dress. I can see no reason why anyone should not travel by streetcar or bus.
I can well remember in the days of my youth, before we became accustomed to taxis and automobiles, that not only many a young girl, but elderly dowagers as well, bundled themselves up and traveled in "stages" and streetcars to evening parties. I see no reason why women who have evening dresses should not wear them, and give pleasure to the soldiers by going to the dances, no matter what the method of transportation may be. They go for pleasure, of course, but also render a patriotic service, and a little thing like the lack of cars should not keep them away.
Incidentally, when the day comes when we do not all have evening dresses, that should not keep young women away either, because the purpose of the evening is to dance, to give young people an opportunity to meet, and what they wear is going to be secondary as difficulties multiply on the civilian home front.
I have received another appeal from the National Nursing Council for War Service, stating that the Army and Navy are asking for 3,000 graduate nurses a month, which means that 55,000 new students must start training courses this year. As many retired nurses as possible must come back also, to carry on essential health services on the home front. In addition, aides to the nurses must constantly increase in numbers.