MAY 16, 1944
WASHINGTON, Monday—Sunday morning I went over to the YMCA to speak to their group composed of civilians and Army and Navy men. The new president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. LaFell Dickinson, introduced me, and they all seemed to be enjoying good breakfasts.
We had a quiet Sunday evening, with supper on the porch. I love to watch the changing light on the Washington Monument and gradually see the vista fade out, through which we catch a glimpse of the Jefferson Memorial. Many people can hardly believe that from the south porch of the White House we look straight at the Jefferson Memorial, but my husband discovered it was visible some time ago and the vista was made complete by the removal of two trees. Just now there is a flagpole that has been placed so it shows up against the Memorial, but perhaps someday the Park Authorities will find a new place for that.
Tonight I am going to pay a second visit to the United Nations Service Center. Volunteers work here all night and they have been anxious that I see something of their work since it is increasing in volume all the time.
In "Washington Merry-Go-Round" a few days ago there was a story which assumed large proportions considering that the gesture was such a simple one. A young woman spoke to me after I left the U.S. Information Center and we walked along together. She said she was on her "day off" as she put it, and she often went sightseeing, so I asked if she would like to walk into the White House with me and look around. It was very simple and it never occurred to me that anything would come of it.
There is a slight mistake in the story as Mr. Pearson gave it, however, which I feel must be corrected. The books given every two years by the various publishers to the White House are kept in a library on the first floor. From there they are taken upstairs as needed and brought back when not in use. They are not sent to the library at Hyde Park because they are given with the purpose of building up a library here in the White House so that no President, on coming in, will find his shelves denuded and have no book to read on his first night in new surroundings.
There are, of course, a great many books given to the President and to me, as it has long been the custom to send books as they are published to the occupants of the White House. These we often do take to Hyde Park, though I send a great many of mine, after reading them, to various libraries where I know they have difficulty in buying books because of limited funds. For instance, I send books to Mr. James T. Richmond of the Wilderness Library in Mount Sherman, Arkansas; the Arthurdale School Library and the school library at Dyess Colony in Arkansas.