MAY 14, 1938
CHARLESTON, W. Va., Friday—At 3:30 yesterday afternoon I received a group of ladies who are here with the members of the American Law Institute. Shortly afterwards, we held the first garden party of the year, given for the women executives in the different Government departments. At this party, the wives of the members of the Cabinet receive with me, which means that the line moves a little more slowly. When we finally had shaken hands with everyone, and Mrs. Garner and I started to walk across the lawn, she remarked that her knees felt the strain. I imagine every one of us found ourselves in a similar condition. I'm sure we were all glad to sit down.
I had asked a group from one of our rural communities to come to Washington to give us an idea of the music and dancing which they are developing. They have built their own community house and every Friday night all ages from 10 to 60 meet there and take part in the entertainment. The significant things in this development are that they are not dependent upon other people's talents and that young and old enjoy themselves together. I think these two things are important enough for us to want to see this music and dancing spread to some of our more sophisticated communities. There is far more real joy in doing things yourself than in sitting back and watching other people do them. They played, they danced and they sang and I think everyone on the lawn had a good time. I, for one, wanted to join them.
After our guests had gone, a little ceremony took place in the Red Room. Mr. Raymond Muir, who was head usher in the White House until recently, when he was transferred to the State Department, was invited to come in with Mrs. Muir. The members of the White House staff, who had worked with Mr. Muir, presented him with a gift to which they had all contributed. It was a very beautiful and useful wristwatch. I hope that he will have great pleasure in wearing it and in remembering the good wishes which went with it. A representative from every group which constitutes the working staff necessary to run the White House was present.
This morning I arose at an early hour, for I had to be at the airport at 7:00 o'clock to start for Charleston, West Virginia, with Congressman Randolph. Our morning was spent at Red House, one of the Government homesteads which has been through many vicissitudes since its inception. I have not space to tell you my impressions, but tomorrow I think I can give you an interesting picture.