MAY 17, 1949
NEW YORK, Monday—I returned from Washington last night proudly bearing my certificate from the Women's National Press Club as the "Woman of the Year."
It was a delightful party Saturday night, and the stunts, which the newspaper women put on, were entertaining and well done. In many ways it was a particularly nice evening because there was no bitterness that could hurt anyone's feelings. The Republican party was rather harshly treated and appeared in a very broken down condition, but, by and large, the fun was all good tempered and I particularly enjoyed seeing so many of my old newspaper associates. I was deeply appreciative and very grateful to receive the award from them.
The other women who received awards in special fields were all very interesting, but the great interest, of course, centered in Mrs. Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses, 88 years old, who did not take up painting until she was 77 and who has never had a lesson in her life. Yet, she has earned the reputation for doing remarkable American primitives. She and the President seemed to have a good time together, and I wish that I could have sat with her in her own home and really talked. She is a bright and vivid person, and she really enjoyed everything that went on and had an extraordinary amount of stamina. She stood and shook hands with several hundred people and wouldn't even listen to a suggestion that she had to have special care.
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After the dinner and the entertainment we went across the street to the Carlton Hotel to a reception planned for me by Otis Wiese of the McCall Corporation. It seemed to me that most of the dinner guests drifted over there and everyone continued to have as congenial and jovial a time as possible.
Sunday morning I went out to have breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. D. V. Sandifer in their delightful garden and several other guests were there. We talked about the U.N. Assembly's convention on news and it made me feel as if I were back at Lake Success, but the outdoor atmosphere and our very good breakfast was not like our Committee Three surroundings.
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I was particularly glad to see Madame Pandit, the Ambassador to the U.S. from India, on Saturday night. Many groups have been writing me to try to urge her to come to them as a speaker, and she told me that she simply could not fill all the engagements that were coming her way. I could quite well understand that. She stands out in any crowd, with her gracefully draped black dress and her gray hair and fine, delicate features, and she is a very intelligent person. I feel sure that she will help her people over here by her presentation of their efforts and activities under the new regime.
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Just before leaving Washington yesterday the six winners of awards were entertained at tea by President and Mrs. Truman. I had almost forgotten how charming the Blair House is. As a private home it would be simply ideal, but I can well see that it is very inadequate for the real needs of the President and his family.