JANUARY 16, 1945
WASHINGTON, Monday—Yesterday afternoon I went over with Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau to the Corcoran Gallery of Art to see the exhibition of triptychs for the armed forces.
The Citizens Committee for the Army and Navy, Inc., which organized these artists to do religious pictures for use in camps, with units in the field, and on board ship, has really done a remarkable piece of work. Thomas Watson gave them a grant which allowed them to send to seabee groups a very beautiful altar painting done with their particular work in mind.
The various armed services make requests through their chaplains or their commanding officers, and then the organization tries to find someone to donate the cost. Many have already been placed, and I am sure that many more will be given.
Later in the afternoon a group of men from Walter Reed Hospital came in. As it was not too large a group, it was possible to talk to every one, and we really had a very pleasant hour.
The first thing I did this morning was to meet some grandchildren at the train. Then, at my press conference, I asked Mrs. Lilian Mowrer to come and talk about the drive which is just beginning to increase the membership of the Women's Action Committee. This organization is an outgrowth of the old Cause and Cure of War group, founded by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt. Mrs. Catt believed if we could draw in more and more women's organizations and educate them to the need for peace and the factors which bring about bad feeling among nations, the women could accomplish a great deal and be an influence in the nation. With the coming of war, this type of study ceased to have very much point, and the Women's Action Committee was the next step. These women intend not only to be informed, but to take action by using their influence on their own individual representatives.
Perhaps one of the first things that women might do is to spread that story which appeared in one of the newspapers the other day, warning us not to believe everything we hear over the radio or read in the papers, and citing the fact that an English voice talked over a German radio and gave a fake broadcast. Of course, the servicemen at the fronts must be very familiar with this technique. They even get to know the voices of people who speak on German stations, just as the men in the Pacific get to know the voices that speak on the Tokyo radio.
But when these things are picked up by newspapers and are believed at home, it makes for unfortunate misunderstandings. Should any individual or group by chance like to create a little trouble, acceptance of some of the Nazi propaganda as factual instead of as pure propaganda can create much trouble very successfully.