DECEMBER 5, 1944
WASHINGTON, Monday—Yesterday afternoon a group came again from Walter Reed Hospital to visit the White House and have tea, and I spent some time talking with them. A number of the men came in wheelchairs. Though the elevator has sometimes seemed to me a rather large and cumbersome one, on occasions like these it is most convenient. As we were going up, I told the men of the days when the children of President Theodore Roosevelt took their pony upstairs in it. Since the elevator can take several chairs at a time, it is possible for the men in wheelchairs to see both the lower floors in the White House.
The men all wanted to see Fala. But he was not around at the time, so I collected our visiting two-and-a-half-months old puppy and brought her in. Someday she will be a bull mastiff of considerable size, and even now the men looked at me unbelievingly and asked: "Two months, did you say?" as I carried around a very large-size puppy for them to pat.
Today in my press conference, Miss Helen Ferris of the Junior Literary Guild is going to talk about the value of books for children, and their possible use in combating juvenile delinquency. I feel that the children's library rooms in public libraries and in schools can be made real centers of attraction and keep many a child from idling on the streets.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention the Boys' Clubs of America, a philanthropic organization headed by former President Herbert Hoover. They have 250 member clubs and provide places of recreation, under constructive leadership, for boys in congested areas. On Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, more than a quarter of a million members will assemble in their clubs to do honor to their 150,000 former club members who are fighting in all parts of the world.
They will repeat and reaffirm the pledge of the Victory Volunteers, which is a good one for us all to remember. The pledge reads: "I want to do all that I can to help win the war against the enemies of the United States, and I want to prepare myself for service to my country. Therefore, I pledge and promise that I will guard my health and develop my body. I will learn with mind and hands. I will be honest and mindful of the rights of others. I will be obedient to my parents and all those in authority. I will be reverent and faithful to my religion. I will give service. I will be loyal to the United States of America. For us here today, and for those now serving our country, I take this pledge."