JANUARY 17, 1944
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday and Saturday were the beginning of the infantile paralysis campaign for me. In a rather chilly atmosphere, a small group of us stood outside at Loew's Capitol Theatre Friday noon and opened the "Mile of Dimes." The various bottles representing different states were not yet marked. When I opened my purse to find the two ten-cent pieces that I always put on the line for my husband and myself, I only had one ten-cent piece! The gentlemen around me were too chivalrous to change a dollar bill—they all wanted to give me the extra ten cents. But I finally persuaded them to take the dollar bill. After having acquired a ten-cent piece from one of them, I went through the usual process of speaking over the radio with one of the District of Columbia commissioners, Mr. Mason, and then placed my dimes on the line. With keen enjoyment, Mr. Mason informed me that he was putting my dollar in the District of Columbia bottle, so that New York would contribute a dollar to the District of Columbia quota!
Yesterday Miss Mary Pickford came to lunch with me. She has been appointed by the National Foundation as chairman of the woman's division, and she is giving all of her time to help the foundation during this drive. I enjoyed interviewing her on the radio after lunch. In talking to her, I learned that she is visiting a number of cities and undertaking a full time job.
It is going to be hard to find volunteers to do some of the things which have been done before, such as paid employees to take up collections night after night in theatres. Volunteers will have to do this now because theatres are understaffed. But I think they will be found, for many women who cannot do a full time job will gladly give a few hours several times a week during a short period. They know that infantile paralysis does not stop because we happen to be fighting a war. We are just as apt to have an epidemic now as in peace time. Therefore, war or no war, we have to go on with this particular home front campaign.
The seventh annual American Hobby Show will open in New York City on Monday, January 17th, under the auspices of the American Hobby Federation. The guiding spirit of this foundation is Mr. Erwin M. Frey. He has encouraged people all over the world to recover from mental and physical ailments by developing a hobby, and he is an expert on hobbies of all kinds. This hobby show is tied in with the Fourth War Loan Drive because some of the people who are going to need hobbies are our wounded veterans back from the war. The British government has asked Mr. Frey's council and has established hobby projects in many of their hospitals as part of the postwar rehabilitation program and, of course, we will have to do the same thing.