APRIL 17, 1942
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Before leaving New York City yesterday morning for a dinner given in Boston for the benefit of the International Student Service, I went to the headquarters of the New York City Red Cross. General Davis took me all over the building and I was much impressed by the foresight they have shown in ordering their supplies early and being prepared for any eventuality.
I took a few books under my arm as a token to give to the Victory Book Campaign. I looked with envy at the canteen utensils, which must make working a joy. Compared with what we used in the last war, they seemed to me most efficient and convenient. The motor corps was kind enough to offer to drive me out to La Guardia Field, but realizing that they have no assurance of tires in the future, and knowing they are much more needed for service transportation, I took a taxi. When taxicab tires wear out, I imagine we shall all take to buses. In the meantime, I hope it is legitimate to use taxis.
In Boston, Mrs. Henry Leach, Mrs. Eliot Pratt, Mr. Joseph Lash and I each had a quiet lunch and then each went our way to do some kind of work. I had two press conferences on the subject of International Student Service. The Boston committee is doing a wonderful piece of work and I hope it will be the nucleus of work all over New England.
In midafternoon, I went to call on Professor and Mrs. Whitehead in Cambridge. They are two of the most charming older people I have ever met, but they are only elderly in looks. In spirit and mind both of them approach the future and the problems of today with a viewpoint strangely resembling the courage and vision of youth tempered by the experience of age. I enjoyed every minute with them.
We attended three different parties given before the dinner and, finally, Governor and Mrs. Saltonstall drove me to the Vendome Hotel about a quarter past seven. I was delighted to see Dr. and Mrs. Endicott Peabody, Mr. and Mrs. William Phillips, and Mr. and Mrs. John Saltonstall at our last small reception. I hope that every one felt that the dinner was an interesting occasion.
My cousin, Mrs. Alexander Grant, was there and I recognized familiar faces in many parts of the room. Dr. Max Lerner and Dr. Perry, both gave brilliant speeches. Dr. William Neilson presided and introduced each speaker aptly in his kindly and inimitable way. Miss Irene Murray, of Mt. Holyoke, came to tell us from the students' point of view what the Campobello Summer Institute had meant to her last summer, and captivated her audience. Mr. James Lanigan spoke for the graduate student. The questions at the end came fast and furious and indicated so much interest that it was all I could do to get my party together and make the midnight train back to New York City. Here we are now back in Washington.