MARCH 30, 1949
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Yesterday was a day of such social activity that I haven't really recovered as yet.
In the first place, I came down from the country, having been urged to lunch at Bernard M. Baruch's rather than to have Mr. Baruch and his distinguished guests lunch with me at my apartment. Mr. Baruch felt that Winston Churchill was still too busy with his speech to leave the house.
I really didn't understand why leaving the house would have been difficult until my taxicab turned into Fifth Avenue and I saw a battery of cameramen dash for their cameras which had been left alongside the building. I told my bewildered driver to drive on and we went around the corner to Madison Avenue where I got out. Then I walked back, and as I turned into the doorway I heard voices saying "Mrs. Roosevelt." Somehow it seemed utterly incongruous to be going to a private luncheon and having to submit to photographs as though it were a public spectacle. This once, therefore, I'm afraid I was not as obedient as usual!
On my way out after the luncheon my old friend, Sammy Schulman, and one of his colleagues did get a photograph, for by that time the six Secret Service men sitting in the lobby had conditioned me to the feeling that I was not doing anything private or personal!
All was quiet and serene in Mr. Baruch's apartment. His guests were interesting and I had a delightful time. Mr. and Mrs. Churchill, and Mary and her husband, Capt. A. Christopher Soames, were as charming as always.
What an indomitable fighter Mr. Churchill is! The qualities that made him such a fine war leader stand out when he says: "I must go back to England. We are going to have an election in a year," and you know that, as the leader of his party, he will fight as tenaciously as possible. I am sure, too, that he will fight for what he considers fair and just. Everyone may not agree with him, but he always will be respected, trusted and loved in Great Britain, and it is easy to see that over here he is a welcome guest.
I am sure Mr. Churchill feels very well satisfied that the desires which he expressed when he was here before are, on the whole, being implemented now under the spur of Russia's obstinacy. I am sure it has been a great pleasure for Mr. Baruch to have these old friends, even though their visit is so short.
It seems almost strange to turn from the statesman to the painter, but in the living room we found two of Mr. Churchill's paintings and I liked them both.
At tea time yesterday a charming woman, Miss Ben Yehuda, from Israel was brought to see me. Her father has fought to revive the Hebrew language and have it generally spoken. My short talk with her was enlightening in many ways.
In the evening I went to see Paul Muni and Carol Stone in the revival of "They Knew What They Wanted," and enjoyed it very much.