MAY 4, 1938
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon, I greeted quite a large group of Girl Scouts and a group from the George School, before attending the annual garden party given by our rector, Dr. Wilkinson, and his wife. They have a lovely garden and it is always a pleasure to have a glimpse of it at this season.
I returned to a swim in the pool, supper in the rose garden and three short movies sent down especially for me to see. One movie was on the war in Spain, one on the war in China, and one on conditions in our Cumberland Mountains, which might almost be termed a war on our own economic conditions.
I could hardly bear to look at some of the pictures. I found myself closing my eyes in utter disgust and horror that human beings can do such things to each other.
Not having had a completely restful night on the sleeper, I was quite ready for bed, but I was haunted by the pictures and had to do some work before I could get into the mood for oblivion.
A ride at 7:00 this morning, an hour when it is hard to believe that anywhere in the world there can be cruelty and ugliness and filth.
There is a certain incongruity between all the work we do for Child Health Week and our unconcern about many of the conditions which lead up to poor health in children.
The American Heart Foundation sponsored an international broadcast on Monday to bring to the attention of people the story of those little cripples who do not show their physical deformity, but who, nevertheless, are physically handicapped by heart disease. Very often poor food, poor environment and bad heredity are factors in this illness. I saw many of the little sufferers in a Boston Hospital last Friday morning. Perhaps some of you will remember the story written by Paul de Kruif several years ago, in which he told very dramatically the story of one poor little victim. This is a disease which takes a tremendous toll among children and should have more attention from the public than it has so far received.
All morning I looked forward to 11:00 o'clock as the hour at which I had decided to telephone my daughter, for May 3rd is her birthday. I had not heard her voice for some time and, though I often complain that the telephone can be a nuisance, I certainly was grateful this morning to be able to express my good wishes and to hear her voice, even though we are so far apart.
At 11:30 Mrs. Helm, Mrs. Scheider and I, drove over to Annapolis, Maryland, and saw two of the old houses which are on exhibition during Garden Week. The Hammond-Harwood House, which has beautiful fireplaces and cornices, and the Chase House, which has one of the most charming staircases I have ever seen, were on view. We lunched with Mrs. Wilson Brown, whose husband is now Superintendent of the Naval Academy. In a few minutes I shall be out in the garden receiving a young group—the Children of Congressional Parents.