JANUARY 25, 1940
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—There are so many things being done for the Finnish Relief Fund these days that, sympathetic as I am to their cause, I still feel that we should not forget the innumerable other people throughout the world who are also suffering. I realize that another element besides relief for civilians enters into the help that is given Finland, but even from that point of view, we must not forget other nations which are in need, or which still have a chance to strike a blow for their own freedom.
I wish that the requests and letters that I get telling me of various activities for the Finns could be duplicated by requests and letters about things being done for other countries. That is why I have wanted a coordination of all this relief work, so there would be a balance in the distribution of funds, no duplication of work and no unnecessary overhead. However, I am glad to tell you of every effort which is being made to help the oppressed or the suffering.
I have just heard that there is an exhibition going on at the Gotham Hotel branch of the Grand Central Art Galleries, 55th Street and Fifth Avenue, New York City, which is open daily from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, and on Sundays from 2 pm to 6 pm. One hundred and sixty top-ranking American artists have contributed paintings and water colors and there is an additional interest in the fact that blind auctions are held at intervals so that some of the paintings may be bought during the exhibition.
I want also to tell you of a letter which I have just received and which is, of course, the product of someone's sense of humor, plus possibly a little too much idle time! From Los Angeles, California, the letter comes purporting to be from a Young Communist organization, which informs me that they are naming their branch for me and which gives me undeserved praise for doing things which I have not done! I appreciate the joke, but since my correspondent gave me no address, I must use this way of telling him that this is perhaps too serious a matter for joking. They cannot use names without permission and, in addition, I am now and always will be opposed to the Communist form of government.
I uphold the right of those who believe in it to express their own ideas, and I know that the theory of Communism may be of help in certain instances, but we, in this country, are beyond that stage. We are interested in a true democracy and we work for the ultimate development of a way of life in our country which will make it possible for every individual to fulfill his responsibility as a citizen in a democracy.
We have again the most beautiful snowstorm and I have word that even in Texas, for the first time in many years, some sections have had as much as four inches of snow, so that schools have been closed in order that the children might enjoy this rare phenomenon. I can only hope that they found tin trays enough to use as sleds.