MAY 27, 1943
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon, I took a streetcar to get to the Social Security Building, where I was to speak at a forum at 4:00 o'clock. I had barely seated myself in the car when a rather breathless voice behind me said: "You are Mrs. Roosevelt, aren't you?"
Turning around, I saw a very pretty young girl and, after I admitted that I was myself, she told me she was on her way to see her brother at a southern camp and had stopped off for the day in Washington. She had wanted to see the White House, but unfortunately it was closed. She found many changes since her visit of a year ago. It was harder to get into government buildings and many places were closed, she said. Nevertheless, she seemed to think that her stopover had been worthwhile.
Then the boy beside me shyly exhibited a pin. I realized it was something to be proud of, but I could not recognize what it stood for and he finally had to explain that it was given to blood donors, and he added: "I would have gone long ago, but I thought it would be a very terrifying experience. I found it quite easy, however, and I won't be at all worried to go again. Besides, they give you a cup of coffee free and when you have been there three times, you get a silver pin."
I told him I had not had time to wait for the cup of coffee, but I was quite able to endorse the fact that it was quite an easy and painless way to do one's bit for the war, and an extra little bit which almost anyone can do in addition to his regular job.
After the forum, I started to take a streetcar back, but a taxi with three passengers already in it, hailed me and they asked me if I did not want to ride with them. I accepted gratefully and had a nice talk with my fellow passengers. One girl had been at the forum, and so I suppose she had kindly suggested they pick me up. I was dropped at the Treasury and walked home.
Our old friend, Mrs. Lewis Thompson, spent the night and this morning. She brought in two very interesting people to discuss employment problems. I feel sure that the work they are doing will be of great value in the future.
Miss Bertha Swindell, of Baltimore, Md., brought me a portrait which she painted of the President, the other day. It was done entirely from photographs, because she only had an opportunity of observing the President one day at lunch. I think it is really a very good portrait.
I find, however, that this question of photographs and portraits is a very difficult one, for what satisfies one person is anathema to another. It is difficult to reproduce all the varying moods of any human being so the reproduction will be to everybody the person they have known.