JANUARY 15, 1945
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Yesterday at 12:30 I went down to the Capitol Theatre to open the Mile of Dimes campaign. Two cadet nurses were with me, and Commissioner Russell Young, as he has done for so many years in the past, officiated at the opening ceremonies.
It was a gray and intermittently rainy day, clearing up now and then for a few minutes and pouring down upon us in between times. But nothing seems to dampen the ardor of movie-goers, and the line outside the Capitol Theatre began to show the dimes dropping in as people made their way into the theatre! Afterward I went over to the Lincoln Colonnade Theatre, where there was another opening ceremony for the Mile of Dimes campaign.
In the afternoon I had an opportunity to talk for a little while with a group of union women who are going to Great Britain on an exchange visit. I am very glad that these representatives are going to have a chance to see what their fellow workers in Great Britain are doing. I think they will come back, however, feeling that the British government, because of the greater need for women workers, is more alert than we are in providing the services which are essential for the family when the woman goes to work outside the home. For example, there is still very little done in providing adequate eating facilities at our plants, shipyards and factories. In fact, when there is a cafeteria where the workers get hot meals, it is always shown with great pride as though it were a tremendous achievement, when actually it is essential.
Incidentally, I was recently told that women workers in the textile mills in some parts of our country are expected to work a full eight hours with no time off for lunch. In such cases, there is not even a question of providing them with an opportunity for a hot meal; they are simply given no time to eat at all. Many excuses and reasons are given for this, but the basic reason must be that many of us have not yet learned that human beings are not machines.
On Saturday afternoon Hallett Johnson, Ambassador to Costa Rica, and Mrs. Johnson came to tea, and later a couple of young people came in. In the evening I had a buffet supper for the executive committee members of a group of World War II veterans meeting here in Washington.
This group is in the process of getting organized, and it represents only one small segment of our veterans, who are gradually joining together in small organizations throughout the country. Their problems are many, and I doubt if they are very well able to cope with them as yet. But since no permanent organization can be formed until several months after the war, when the great mass of veterans will be home, I feel that this period may be used as an educational one. It will enable many of them to find out what they really want to do in the future, with whatever organization may evolve.