JANUARY 8, 1940
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Yesterday morning Anna and I spent an hour at the home economic exhibit in the patio of the Department of Agriculture Building. Though I had seen it before, I found it even more interesting, because there was no great crowd and we could really read all the material which explains the different exhibits. Of course, the work done by the Bureau of Home Economics is so far-reaching because the information goes to state colleges with extension services all over the country, and even has contacts with a great many individual homes. After all, nothing is more important than the help we can give the individual housewife to improve the health of her family and to make her home more comfortable and of greater value to the development of young and old.
In the late afternoon, the Women's Committee of the National Committee for the Infantile Paralysis Drive, met here and gave a broadcast, which I hoped proved of interest to the country. I have so often found misunderstandings as to how the money raised at the Birthday Balls is spent, that I was glad to have them state clearly that 50 percent of this money remains in the communities where it is raised; that the other 50 percent goes to the National Foundation and is used for research which needs to be done, for we do not yet know how to keep people from being paralyzed by this dread disease, even though we know more about the treatment than we did a few years ago.
The Committee also allocates money to communities where epidemics occur and gives grants for the development of facilities to care for infantile paralysis patients in different parts of the country. I was quite overcome when I found how many women had come from distant states for the broadcast and tea yesterday, and the dinner which followed last night. I learned a great deal at the dinner, for I had been laboring under the delusion that a serum had been found which, if used early enough, would be beneficial. I discovered I was wrong, and also discovered that the experiments made the spray for the nose had not been proved beneficial.
Anna, John and I went out walking this morning, for the ground is still not good for riding. We are all very sad to have them leave us tonight to start on their journey back to Seattle. The grandchildren will be with us until Friday, when they will go to join their father and mother in Chicago for the rest of the trip.
We had a rather large luncheon party today, some of Anna and John's friends came in to say goodbye, as well as a few people whom we have been trying to see for a long time. I always wish that one could see all the interesting people who come through Washington, but sometimes it is almost impossible to manage.