OCTOBER 9, 1954
NEW YORK, Friday—On Tuesday in Washington I spent a day in which I was indulging myself purely in recreation. I was met on the arrival of my morning plane by Miss Charl Williams and Mrs. Lucille Klinge, President of the National Rural Education Association. After Mrs. Klinge left us, I took my bag to Mrs. Adolph Miller's home, saw my hostess for a few minutes, and then went to the National Gallery of Art. I had looked forward with great pleasure to this chance to see the gallery under the guidance of Mr. David Finley. For an hour and a half he and one of his coworkers showed me its treasures and told me stories which made them all doubly interesting.
What a storehouse of beauty the National Gallery has become! One should, of course, sit down in each room and slowly drink in one picture after the other, but all I can hope for is that sometime I will have time to go again in more leisurely fashion to just one room at a time. In any case I loved every minute of the hour and a half we spent, and I further enjoyed having lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Finley and a few other friends.
It was altogether a delightful time except for the fact that Washington was having one of its warmest summer days. All of us felt the heat, particularly because it was so unseasonable. However, I returned for a pleasant, quiet hour with Mrs. Miller in her cool room. Then I prepared to go to the reception given by the Ambassador from Panama, H.E. Roberto Heurtematte, at which he presented me with a decoration sent by President Jose Remon. President Remon had planned to give me this himself when he came to Hyde Park last year, but Anne and John had to receive him then as I was away on a trip.
I am deeply touched by the honor bestowed on me in the citation and charming speech made by the Ambassador. Everyone was most kind and I was glad to see again a few old friends and a great many acquaintances.
After an early dinner with some friends I went back to Mrs. Miller's to prepare for my early start Wednesday morning.
* * *
I spent the whole of Wednesday morning at the Rural Education Conference. It was their closing session and I was delighted to hear the speeches that were made after I had given my own greeting.
A number of people in the audience who had attended the first meeting of the group 10 years ago in the White House came up to shake hands at the end of the session. Then I went off with Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Rath for a delightful luncheon at which I gathered much information about the work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, of which Mr. Rath is the director now. He told me of many interesting things in the preservation of historic sites. I think everyone should be glad that this organization was established.