AUGUST 26, 1946
HYDE PARK, Sunday—It is interesting that articles taken from Miss Frances Perkins' book and from my son, Elliott's book are both appearing in magazines at the same time. They illustrate how every individual sees things through his own eyes, and how people who are sensitive always reflect some influence from the people with whom they happen to be at any given time.
I know no one more scrupulously honest than Frances Perkins, but here is one little illustration to show how hard it is to get every detail correct! She mentions that my husband attended St. John's Church, which is the little church across Lafayette Square from the White House. As a matter of fact, he attended St. Thomas' on 18th Street, because that is the church which we had attended when we lived in Washington while my husband was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. My husband never went regularly, because such things were a very great physical effort. Later, when he stopped going altogether, it was because both the secret service and the doctors thought it wise to curtail his activities.
He went to St. John's for the service which was held on inauguration days and the yearly anniversaries. I think he did it because it was convenient not to go too far away. Also, St. John's was the church attended by many Presidents, and it was small enough for this kind of service when only government officials attended.
The Christmas services which he attended were a gesture on the part of the churches in the district of which my husband and I both greatly approved, and Miss Perkins is quite right in saying that he enjoyed singing hymns with the "Methody."
I notice that many people, in writing reviews of my son, Elliott's condensed articles as they appear in Look magazine, seem to think that he is making an attack on Mr. Churchill. As a matter of fact, I think that he is trying to report the differences which arise in human relations between any two strong personalities such as Mr. Churchill and my husband. But no matter what anyone says, it must not be forgotten that a deep personal friendship existed between these two men. I think this was a good thing, because it made it possible to argue out differences in a way that one can only do with one's friends.
With my enemies I am never inclined to argue. What is the use? With people to whom I am indifferent, it seems to me rather unimportant. But with my friends, particularly if questions of importance arise, where what we may do or think might affect our small circle of contact, I will try to put across how I feel and what I think. If we do not agree, I may not change; but I will think carefully about the other point of view and without bitterness. If that is so in my relationships, which are comparatively unimportant, it must have been so to a far greater extent between two men who were making very important decisions for the world. Though they often disagreed, both of them must have thought about the other's point of view, which is always clarifying.