JANUARY 3, 1942
WASHINGTON, Friday—I spent yesterday afternoon peacefully reading by my own fire, for I decided that was about as good a way to see the New Year in as possible, since the weather outside was not tempting.
One or two people came in at 5:00 o'clock. Afterwards the rain became a gentle drizzle and I went for a walk around the Washington Monument. The longer I live here, the more the Washington Monument grows on me. It changes in color with the atmosphere and it is beautiful at all times. Yesterday evening, the tracery of the bare trees near it stood out against its white background. It had a misty soft outline, which was entirely different than the clear-cut look it had against a blue sky.
Last night the Prime Minister's nephew, who is in our Navy, came to dinner with his wife, and Mr. Lowell Mellett joined us also.
The news of the fall of Manila is in the afternoon papers. I imagine it will not be much of a surprise to anyone, for it has been obvious for several days that it could not be defended.
We are beginning to realize, I think, as the days go on, that this war is on a vaster scale than anything which we have ever dreamed of before. The decisions which have to be made, day by day, have to take into account all kinds of questions which we have not thought of as concerning us, until a few weeks ago.
Where are the most important places to ship war materials? How are we doing it? Where is it most important to make an attack to keep a sea lane open? These are the questions with which people thinking out the military strategy and the strategy of production and distribution of materials are constantly faced.
In a small way, the relief agencies are facing this same question. Someone came to me the other day to tell me that interesting work for Chinese and British relief had dropped since we entered the war. Of course, this is all wrong, because all Allied fronts are equally important.
I think it would be helpful if we could get some kind of overall organization. We could all go on working as we have been doing and still feel that the results of our labors would be allocated to places most needed, just as our military supplies will be. Perhaps someone will work out this rather complicated situation.