MARCH 18, 1943
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I enjoyed the music so much last Sunday afternoon at the Pan American Union Building. Mr. Terry La Franconi sang some charming Mexican songs, accompanied by Elena Crivella, who plays the piano delightfully. She also accompanied Madame Genia Ury, a Russian with a very lovely voice. The whole program, which lasted only three-quarters of an hour, was delightful.
I learned afterwards that a group meets after these programs on Sunday and talks Spanish and Portuguese for an hour. This is a very good idea, for when people are learning a language it is often very difficult to find people who can talk to them on interesting subjects and who have patience enough not to make them self-conscious.
I arrived in Washington this morning early, after a very warm night on the train. A very great honor was accorded me in being allowed to lunch with some members of the Supreme Court on my wedding anniversary. I felt a little awed to be lunching with all these gentlemen, but they joked with each other in quite normal fashion. Though they often disagree on intellectual standpoints, they tell me that, to an amazing degree they are able to make the distinction between intellectual disagreement and personal liking.
The Chief Justice and Justice Frankfurter took me afterwards to see the bust of Justice Brandeis, done by Miss Eleanor Platt, of New York City. She was chosen as a coming young artist, but this head has so much strength, and is done with so much sensitive understanding of her subject, that I should think from now on she has "arrived."
My friends also showed me some of the portraits which are at present removed from the walls for safekeeping. A few of them are really fine portraits, but all of them with very rare exception, are at least interesting.
I happened to see an advertisement the other day that speaks for the things that the boys at the front are writing home and asking their home folks to safeguard, so they can be sure to return to them. The following words struck me particularly, "where we and our children are free to make our lives what we want them to be . . . where there are no limits to man's, or woman's or any child's opportunity."
If that is to be true in the future, we have a lot to accomplish during these war years, for it means we can have no depression period. We had better face certain facts right now, because we can't overcome them unless we do, since they don't mean going back to the American way of life of the early thirties, but going forward to a bold, secure, new American way of life.