DECEMBER 31, 1943
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Not long ago I lunched with the members of the Architectural League of New York to talk about the great contribution which Mr. Henry Bacon, architect for the Lincoln Memorial, had made to the beauty of our capital city. He created the surroundings which give innumerable visitors an unforgettable emotional experience.
Like many other artists, Mr. Bacon thought more of his art and less of the material things of this world. When he died, it was found that he had left comparatively little to his wife. For some years friends have been contributing to a fund for her use. It seems only fitting that those of us who have stood before the Lincoln Memorial and have been inspired by the figure of Lincoln and his words carved in the stone around the rotunda, should make some slight return in a tangible form to this memorial.
Thousands and thousands of visitors walk up those steps and pause as they gaze at the statue. They give thanks that here, in our great capital we can be so reminded of the value of character and courage in our leaders. Lincoln gave much to his own generation. He still lives in our minds and hearts and provides an example and an inspiration to the people of the country.
This memorial in Washington is one of the ways in which we are reminded of him and brought closer to an understanding of his value to us as a national leader, whose influence we must never lose.
If all the people who have felt gratitude for the truths which this memorial keeps before us would send to Mr. Fletcher Collins, the Architectural League, 115 East 40th Street, New York City, a small or large sum of money, according to their circumstances, Mrs. Bacon's few remaining years could be made comfortable. We could feel that we had made a slight return for what Mr. Bacon had done during his life for us.
Last night a few of us went to see "Over Twenty-One," a play by Ruth Gordon, in which she acts the leading role. Miss Gordon is charming in this new comedy with a war background. It is a good play and will give you an evening of laughter.
The British gentleman, who sat beside me, said: "I have not laughed so much in weeks." The British people have not had very much to make them laugh in the past few years, so I was grateful both to the author and the players, and to Mr. Max Gordon, who presented the play.
As I walked along this morning, I noticed that the clear snappy air made everyone move quickly and put color into their cheeks. We are having unusually chilly weather for Washington. I think it is making us feel well and, perhaps, will cut down the flu rate.