JANUARY 31, 1945
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—This is a busy day. I got in early this morning, having taken the midnight train down from New York City after the dinner to Henry Wallace, which was an outstanding success. Mrs. John Roosevelt and I had breakfast on the sun porch with the children, a very cheerful way to begin the day.
At 10 o'clock I had to dress for the evening and give a preview of the President's broadcast for the benefit of our newsreel friends. I don't know why one feels so foolish putting on one's best bib and tucker and the accompanying ornaments in the light of day, but I certainly did feel foolish!
A press conference at 11, at which Lt. Col. Katherine Goodwin of the WACs came to speak of the need for medical WACs to help in the various military hospitals in this country. The drive will begin on February 1, and they hope to recruit some 8,000 women.
At one o'clock Basil O'Connor is bringing some of the trustees of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, together with the movie stars who have been kind enough to come and do the rounds of the birthday balls tonight, for an informal buffet luncheon. I wish I could offer them more formal entertainment, but unfortunately it is not possible to get either the food or the service which we have had in former years.
This afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Leland Harrison are coming to tea with me and our old friends, Judge and Mrs. William H. Denman of California, who will have early dinner with us before I start on my rounds of birthday balls.
At 11:40 p.m. I will be back at the White House to read the President's broadcast, which he is not able to do this year owing to war conditions. Then I will return to the Statler Hotel to cut the birthday cake at midnight.
So you see this is a lengthy celebration. Yet the results in dimes and dollars accomplish so much that we all feel repaid for whatever we have been able to do!
* * *
In speaking of the play, "Dear Ruth," yesterday, I forgot to mention that it was directed by Moss Hart, and that he came down with the cast, much to my pleasure. When he appeared at the door, however, he was a bearded gentleman in a USO uniform, and for a minute I did not recognize him. Then it dawned upon me who he was, and he explained that he was just back from a trip on a flattop. In fact, for five months Mr. Hart has been entertaining troops in different parts of the world, and now he is about to start for another war area to play in "The Man Who Came to Dinner."
I am filled with admiration for what these artists do. Trips such as they take are exhausting and dangerous. But their reward lies in the best audiences any artists have ever had, and that seems to be sufficient recompense.