JANUARY 30, 1945
WASHINGTON, Monday—Saturday morning I took four youngsters to the Smithsonian Institute. We looked at President Theodore Roosevelt's African animals, at the various Indian tribe exhibits which are so well arranged in cases and which give such a good idea of the way of life of the various tribes, and also at their arts, which we try so hard now to revive. Finally the children had a good look at the dinosaur, and decided it was not a very attractive skeleton.
In the afternoon a little ten-year old infantile paralysis victim, Master Bobby Riggio, came to present me with a bag of dimes which came in as a result of his broadcast over the Blue Network. We had a photograph taken among all the bags of dimes that are constantly reaching the White House these days, and that show what a nation can do when it works on a cooperative basis!
At 4 p.m. a government worker who is a victim of spastic paralysis was brought by one of the other workers in her department to see me, There is a growing agitation throughout the country about these victims, who suffer because of some injury at birth. Their minds are not usually impaired, but they need special care and special training to accomplish the maximum of which they are capable. Unfortunately, very few states have adequate hospitals and schools for these young victims. Judging from the number of letters which I am receiving on the subject, it is one of the neglected aspects of public health, and a great many people with afflicted children feel very strongly about it.
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Some friends of ours brought their children in late Saturday afternoon. The youngsters all enjoyed a movie and we had supper together rather early, which left all the elders a full evening for work.
On Sunday we had the pleasure of entertaining Lieut. General Sir William Dobbie and Lady Dobbie, the British Ambassador and Lady Halifax, and the Honorable Richard Wood. General Dobbie is the hero of Malta and is here on a speaking tour, I was delighted to have this opportunity of meeting him and Lady Dobbie.
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Last night we went to the command performance for the infantile paralysis campaign, and enjoyed very much the delightful and very amusing play, "Dear Ruth." It was well acted and gave us a most entertaining evening. I had enjoyed meeting the members of the cast at tea in the White House in the afternoon, and was glad to have that opportunity to thank them for their generosity.
This morning I am going to New York City to attend the dinner which is being given tonight in honor of Henry Wallace.