NOVEMBER 9, 1936
PHILADELPHIA—Yesterday I paid my first visit of this autumn to Mt. Vernon, going out with Mme. Jusserand and a young Mrs. Fiske from Iowa who were my guests. I never tire of the view of the river or the charm of the house and grounds and on this occasion Colonel Dodge himself met us. Mme. Jusserand and her husband who was France's Ambassador to this country for twenty-two years had known Colonel Dodge well and watched with interest his development of this historic spot.
There are always new things to be seen. Mme. Jusserand was particularly interested in the museum and the pieces of china made in France for President Washington and which are now on exhibition there. The last thing we did was to visit Washington's tomb for the sake of sentiment and Mme. Jusserand recalled our visit there during the war with Marshall Joffre and Mr. Viviani.
Then home for a press conference and an official luncheon before the ceremonies in Rock Creek Park. It was a gray day but it did not rain, many people remembered this diplomat, writer and most interesting human being, Jean Jules Jusserand and they gathered to see the unveiling of the American memorial to his memory. It is a simple bench in granite and the ceremonies were simple but very touching. As we were driving home, Mme. Jusserand said: "I hope there is some dogwood near the bench for my husband loved it", and the President said: "Some has been planted there."
It must have been a day filled with emotion particularly in the Park where they had walked so often together. Yet Mme. Jusserand remained her calm, sweet thoughtful self, never forgetting a kindly word or the recognition which means so much to old friends and acquaintances.
Is it long training or qualities that one is born with which make such self control possible? In any case, it is the result which we hope for from good birth and good breeding.
This morning my husband and I went to church and Bishop Fiske preached a good sermon on the text: "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole word and lose his own soul?" One of the things he said was that most of us were afraid to face our own souls, to face ourselves alone. Sooner or later, he added, we had to do it and in the end what we are is more important than what we have. A good thing to think about now and then when acquisitive moods come upon us!
Major General and Mrs. Marshall-Cornwall lunched with us today and made me feel closer to the European situation than I have felt before. It is curious how engrossed you become in things immediately around you, almost forgetting how easily some action in a faraway spot may upset the situation in your own little corner of the world.