JANUARY 27, 1943
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—This has been a curiously varied day. It began at 10:30 this morning with a group of young paratroopers up from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They have completed their period of preparation and will soon be off to parts unknown, so I was especially glad to greet them and have them here. I wish them Godspeed wherever they go.
After my talk with them, I met with a committee of three, which is already organizing a sunrise service for Easter Sunday—a service which they tell me will take place at 6:17 a.m. The Knights of Pythias have a service also on that morning in the Arlington Memorial Amphitheatre, which I always try to attend, so this would simply mean starting quite a bit earlier.
After their visit, I had one other appointment and then walked over to the Willard Hotel to meet a group of some eighty boys who have taken the rangers training. They were demonstrating it for the benefit of the Women's National Press Club.
Since I could not stay for the demonstration, I asked the boys what they would like me to do for them, and before I knew it, I found myself signing all their programs. One young man wanted to be sure that I understood that this particular group was composed of the best fighting men in the world and that no Marines or paratroopers could do any better than they could. This spirit of pride in an organization is good, but I feel we can all be proud of the achievements of all branches of the services.
I hurried back to the White House to greet 32 ladies, who were lunching to hear Mrs. James Landis' report on what can be done in the line of recreation for government workers. They have been brought to Washington in such numbers that some of them have to live under rather uncomfortable and crowded conditions.
One club house is already a going concern—a garage lent for the duration by Mrs. Evelyn Walsh McLean, at 2118 Massachusetts Avenue. It has been remodeled and decorated and much of the furniture given by Mrs. McLean has been reconditioned by a committee. Gradually members are joining up and it is becoming known as a place where government workers can meet each other and have a good time.
The radio and newspapers are preparing us all for some announcement of importance tonight, and so I shall be anxiously listening to my radio at 10:00 p.m. Some of the news I may know a little about, but the greater part will be as much news to me as to every other citizen, and news has come to mean so much these days. I suppose, because one lives with one thought in mind, one prays for the day when news again can be a matter of casual interest.