DECEMBER 1, 1943
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Yesterday I lunched with Mr. John Golden at Sardi's, which was a very pleasant interlude in an otherwise busy day. Mr. Golden always gives me the most delicious chicken dish, which one could not eat very often, however, without losing one's figure. He took me afterwards to meet the cast of "Susan and God," who were beginning their rehearsals for the opening of the new City Center.
This Center is to be a municipal theatre and I am glad that Mr. Golden has been asked to open it with such a delightful play as "Susan and God," with Miss Gertrude Lawrence acting again in what I remember as one of her most enchanting roles.
It is quite thrilling for New York City to be starting a civic theatre. Many of us believe that the arts must have government support to develop new talent. To have New York City accept this responsibility gives one a sense of pride.
From there I went to the Sale For the Blind. If the crowd that was there yesterday is any criterion of the interest people take in this cause, there will be no lack of sales. I confess, however, that such a crowd makes it difficult to buy, since it was all you could do to get to the tables on which the goods were displayed without knocking people down.
Then I went to the Sara Delano Roosevelt Interfaith House. It was interesting to go through it and to see how it had been adapted to its new uses. There have been very few structural changes, but those which have been made certainly increase its availability for its present purpose.
There were girls in all of the rooms, and I am sure that this is going to be a successful and useful experiment. The willingness of young people of different religious faiths to live and to work under the same roof is sure to bring about helpful discussion and better understanding among them.
On leaving 65th Street, I went to Professor Chamberlain's house for a meeting of the Institute of Pacific Relations. I was very happy to hear Mr. Edward Carter give a report on his trip to China and the Union of Soviet Republics last summer. He never mentioned the fact that he went at what must have been an extremely hot and uncomfortable season of the year, but he did mention the difficult questions which the Generalissimo asked him.
I am sure he answered them well, but I could not help wondering if there really were answers to some of them. They would require a great deal more thought on the part of the American people than I think we have given the conditions in China and India. I spoke for a short time on a few incidents of my Southwest Pacific trip. Then I had to dash for a last engagement at 5:30 before returning home to greet some friends at dinner.