APRIL 7, 1944
WASHINGTON, Thursday—We have been back in Washington just a week and two days, and every day I have been looking for spring. The forsythia bush on the White House lawn shows a delicate yellow, the magnolia blossoms are faintly pink, and many other shrubs suggest that the time has come for them to burst into bloom. But the other night we had snow and a sudden clap of thunder, and I begin to agree with one of my friends who wrote me that if we could have two days of the same season, her cold might disappear.
The President hasn't been well, but he is getting steadily better. He has had bronchitis and he has been weary, but I think it is probably as much the weariness that assails everyone who grasps the full meaning of war, as it is a physical ailment. One cannot quite get over it. One can only accommodate oneself to the burden and pray for the day when the war will end victoriously.
I spent a day in New York City and reported to the USO on the clubs which I visited on my trip. I also saw two plays. One, "Jacobowsky and the Colonel" is a quiet war play which the Theater Guild has produced. The original play was by Franz Werfel. The cast is excellent and the dialogue delightful, but the play never stirred me very deeply. It's probably a very good play for the majority of us to see just now. It brings out the important things that we are apt to forget—that the man of action and the man of ideas can and must live in the world together and each has his particular moment of importance in the march of events.
Then I saw Edward Chodorov's play, "Decision." It left me far more unhappy than the other play, though it dealt with just one phase of our home front. This is a phase which many of us know little or nothing about, but which deeply troubles any of us who have even had a glimpse of it. It shows the Fascist side of our communities, and is very frightening, not because the Fascism exists, but because so few people are aware that it is something we must fight at home. I am delighted that the play is such a success and I particularly congratulate the gentlemen who play the leading parts.
I have spoken on my trip to the National Women's Press Club this week, and also to the business and professional women of the district. In addition, I have enjoyed seeing Mr. W. L. White, who dined with us the other evening. I've had time to read John Hersey's delightful novel "A Bell for Adano." Let us hope that the Major Joppolos multiply and that the General Marvins disappear from our Army!
I visited the draft aid center of the Civilian War Services Division here the other day and found it most interesting. I feel sure that something similar should be done in any large center of population. Many draftees need help and information for themselves and their families when they are inducted.