SEPTEMBER 12, 1946
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I've received a letter from George Palmer, superintendent of the "Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt," giving some figures which I think might be of interest to the public. On a recent Sunday, 9,836 persons passed in front of the grave. During August, 104,311 people visited the grave, and 70,031 went through the home. In all, 203,628 people have visited the home, and 304,320 the grave, since last April.
Mr. Palmer tells me that they have decided that 2500 visitors a day are all that can be allowed to go through the house. It will not stand a great crowd at any one time. I can remember that once, when we had a reception years ago, my husband kept urging me to get the guests to pass through the library because he thought too many people were standing on the floor at one time!
Mr. Palmer also told me of a very nice incident. Former members of the 240th M.P. Battalion, who used to guard my husband when he was here and who trained in the nearby M.P. school for their future overseas service, have formed an association. About 50 of them met at Hyde Park on Sunday, August 25, and visited the home and the grave. They had such a successful day, seeing friends in the village of Hyde Park and having dinner in Poughkeepsie, that they have decided to make this an annual pilgrimage.
We always had two parties during the week after Christmas for the group which was stationed here. They brought their wives and sweethearts and danced in the library. We served simple refreshments and had a tree and small Christmas remembrances for them.
My husband always went over from the house. I think one of the evenings which was most enjoyable was a very stormy night when the orchestra could not get there and many of the girls who were coming from Poughkeepsie were delayed. So the men all sat on the floor in front of my husband's chair, sang Christmas carols and then asked him questions. He told them things about the first World War and about the countries which they might someday see. When, finally, some of the lady guests arrived to dance, I think the stag party broke up rather reluctantly!
At one of these parties, John Golden, the theatrical producer, provided us with one of those extraordinary entertainers with a prodigious memory who reeled off population figures and any number of other statistics about any place in the United States that anyone in the audience mentioned. My husband enjoyed it enormously and was enchanted when he found his own guesses coincided with the knowledge of the entertainer!