APRIL 7, 1938
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—A dinner was given last night to celebrate the fifth birthday of the CCC camps and I went to read a message from the President. I was very happy to be able to spend a few minutes with the people who have made this nation-wide program possible, for I feel the work of the CCC camps has enriched many communities.
Aside from the fact that it has taken boys who might have drifted into evil ways and kept them busy during critical months, it has given them better health and a skill with which to face the world. Someday we will have fewer floods because of the trees which the CCC has planted, better soil because of the soil erosion program which they have helped to carry on, and innumerable improvements which can be seen everywhere throughout the country.
After I left the dinner, I went to the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra concert, which was as beautiful as it could possibly be. I am sure that both the orchestra and Mr. John Charles Thomas, who sang several numbers with them, must have realized how much the audience enjoyed them. I have rarely heard a Washington audience applaud more warmly.
I returned to find our son, Franklin, Jr., had just arrived. He was talking to his father and had not decided whether he would stay the night and rise early to drive to Charlottesville, or whether he would proceed at once. In my most organizing spirit, I started to make his plans for him. He looked at me with the funniest expression and said; "I don't like being organized. I'm going to flip a coin."
The coin decided that he would go, but he finally stayed. We had breakfast together this morning at 7:00 o'clock before he started for Charlottesville and some law work.
It is good to be reminded every now and then of the bad habits which come with age. Grown persons do not like to have their minds made up for them. They like to arrive at a decision on their own volition. We mothers have a dreadful tendency to behave as though no one in the world could manage except ourselves.
Miss Rachel M. Palmer, who has just flown to Manila in five days and spent seven weeks in the Philippines before flying back, came to see me this morning. She brought gifts from the Sultana of Sulu Jolo, Sulu, Philippine Islands. One of them is a very beautiful example of brass work, dug up not long ago, which is at least three hundred years old. It is extremely interesting to me, for its decoration reminds me somewhat of some Persian pieces which my father brought home many years ago when he went around the world at the age of twenty-one.
Several old friends of mine are coming to lunch and later this afternoon I am flying to New York City.