FEBRUARY 1, 1943
WASHINGTON, Sunday—On Friday night, or rather on Saturday morning, because it was 12:30 a. m.; I started out with an escort of kind gentlemen to visit three movie theatres, where midnight shows were being given and where the group of visiting movie stars were appearing. In spite of two war charity drives which have preceded the infantile paralysis drive, the city is responding even more generously than it has before.
I was interested to hear that Washington, D.C. has contributed more yearly per capita than any other city of its size in the United States. Every theatre we went to had capacity audiences and all seemed to be enjoying themselves. I said a few words of thanks on behalf of the President and was back at the White House by 1:15, which, in view of the fact that our streets are not exactly smooth travelling these days, was pretty good time.
On Saturday I had several appointments in the morning, beginning with a visit from a lady in whose area the White House stands. She is trying to sign up all the women on an agreement to buy all the war bonds and stamps they possibly can. I joined up gladly, but I cannot help thinking that we are quite a detriment to her, for she must have many more signatures for the ordinary block.
One of my difficulties always is to know where I should join these movements. Should I contribute in Hyde Park, New York City or Washington? In each place, my neighbors think I should feel an obligation to that particular neighborhood. It is not always easy to make the decision, so it ends by my doing a little bit everywhere, which doesn't satisfy anyone.
The movie stars, who came to Washington, and who always make a success of these two days of entertainment, lunched with us on Saturday. This year they went to Walter Reed hospital to give the hospitalized boys there a thrill.
A few appointments in the afternoon and then, since the President was not here for his birthday celebration, I went the round of the Birthday Balls as usual and joined in the radio round-up. Quite a contingent of the family will be here tonight, for my daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. John Boettiger, have had to stay East to finish the work they came to do.
Two daughters-in-law are here also, but, unfortunately for me, many months ago I agreed to give the opening lecture in a course at Cooper Union, in New York City, and, therefore, I have to keep my engagement. After speaking at the Junior League luncheon tomorrow, however, I shall return so we may all have a birthday celebration for my daughter-in-law, Ethel. The dinner will be just a family party.