NOVEMBER 16, 1940
CHICAGO, Friday—We drove right into a midwinter snowstorm last night. As I went into my lecture in Kenosha, Wis., it seemed as though hardly perceptible ice particles were flying through the air. When we came out an hour and a quarter later, snow lay on all the streets.
This lecture was given for the Teachers Union. In spite of the weather, the auditorium in the high school was filled and everything went off with a precision which delighted the soul of this lecturer. We actually began two minutes ahead of time, and the question period, announced to last twenty minutes, closed in exactly twenty minutes.
As I came out, a group of young people waited for autographs. Among them was a crippled boy who had had himself wheeled over in his chair. Snow or no snow, his idol is the President and he wasn't going to miss an opportunity to give Miss Thompson or myself his book with the request that the President sign it. We are taking it back to Washington to await some auspicious time when the President isn't snowed under with work and can autograph the book.
After the lecture, we went to the YMCA building, so that I had an opportunity to meet many of the people interested in sponsoring the lecture. We started back to Chicago a little before 10:00 o'clock in what was by that time a real snowstorm.
The snow gave a mysterious and rather enchanted air to the city. The houses around one of the squares looked comfortable and inviting with the lights shining out of the windows on the snow. It is a pleasant custom, for it gives a sense of welcome to those who may happen to have to wander in the dark outside.
We were back at the Hotel Stevens at 11:45 and enjoyed a midnight supper. In fact, yesterday we reversed all of our usual hours for meals and had no lunch save the proverbial English tea with an egg. We had no dinner and a midnight supper.
We woke this morning to find Chicago covered with snow. My windows, which look out on the lake, framed a gray picture of clouds hanging over gray water. The snow is not falling any longer, and so I think we will find our drive this afternoon to Princeton, Ill., easy. In the meantime, four large envelopes of mail awaited us here from Washington and I think we will waste no time during the day.
Greece still seems to be holding her own. Heroism is always a thrilling thing to read about. This little nation's defense and the remarkable fight put up by the British ship against such tremendous odds, which saved so many of the convoy's ships, must make us proud of that quality in human beings which makes them able to rise above all selfish fears and interest and do their duty in the face of danger and death.