FEBRUARY 28, 1945
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday the second buffet lunch was held here and the panel on the Dumbarton Oaks proposals was again presented under Mrs. Charles Tillett's auspices. All the ladies taking part yesterday—Mrs. Irving Berlin, Mrs. Raymond Clapper, the Hon. Emily Taft Douglas and Mrs. Joseph Lash—did an excellent piece of work.
Mrs. Tillett had succeeded in getting them all together and shortening the time which the whole explanation took, and after they had finished speaking there were a number of questions which I think clarified in many people's minds certain points at issue.
One of the things which I think should be emphasized is the fact that these are proposals on broad agreements. They may be changed. They do not enter into the procedure which shall be followed within each nation on the method of choosing delegates or the members of committees. These details will be settled by the nations themselves, and do not need agreement from other nations.
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At 4 o'clock I stopped in for a few minutes at the tea given by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society of Denver. I returned to the White House in time to hold a conference with the newly elected officers of my press conference association.
In the evening I went out to American University, where a small group of Navy Department civilian employees—about 34 girls from 22 states, ranging in age from 18 to 40—are working on a college course. They do a full day's work, six days a week, and then they do seven hours of college work in the evenings. They live at American University in one of the buildings formerly occupied by boys who have gone off to the war.
President Douglas of American University told me that their grades were remarkably high. I gather that most of them would have found it difficult to go to college under other circumstances, and they feel this is a great opportunity to do something for the war and still acquire a college education. It will take them six years to get a degree; but should their war work terminate before that, they could probably finish their course in a much shorter period by devoting all of their time to it.
I attended one of the English classes and then went back and had a very nice time talking with the girls.
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When I left them, I stopped in for a few minutes to watch a scene in a play which has been written and produced by a group of veterans who are studying at American University. Their objective is to tell us at home what the war is like in Italy. It was a very realistic and painful scene which I watched.