MAY 1, 1942
WASHINGTON, Thursday—For the first time in many months the President saw a movie,"Reap The Wild Wind." It was certainly exciting enough to take his mind off everything that had been happening during the day. Mr. John Bergen, who is in charge of the Hollywood Caravan, was with us and also Colonel Zanuck, so the picture certainly had a critical audience and everyone found it absorbing.
This morning I met a gentleman who has a plan for obtaining the latest books in many fields for our men in the armed forces. I have been struck by the fact that the books one sees on the tables in some of the "dayrooms" which I have visited in various camps, are largely not of the most modern vintage. I think this gentleman's idea will permit us to send for a very small sum, twenty-five cents in fact, new publications to boys we know in the services. This will be something they will enjoy and which will give many of us a feeling of giving a little pleasure to a friend.
I lunched with Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., picked some of the first lilies of the valley in her garden and admired the dogwood which is now out everywhere. Just because it is wartime, I think our senses are sharpened to beauty in our surroundings as they never are in ordinary times, when we do not count our blessings day by day.
This afternoon, some hundred people connected with the Navy Relief entertainment, which is being given tonight by the Hollywood Caravan, are coming to a small, formal reception in the garden, which I hope will be pleasant for them.
I am distressed to find that $18,000,000 was cut out of the District of Columbia housing appropriation for war workers. This sum was intended for the building of family units. The National Housing Agency officials are said not to have been prepared to present the need sufficiently well to have convinced the congressional committee that it really exists.
I hope they can do so in the near future, I doubt that the suggestion that workers coming here be told to leave their families at home and consider it their war contribution, will have the desired results. Our objective today is to get the greatest amount of work out of every individual. Moving men or women to Washington and making them support their families in another place is not good economy, nor is it good psychology.