OCTOBER 14, 1939
WASHINGTON, Friday—Last night we attended the dinner at the National Women's Democratic Club, which I imagine really opens their season. This club offers Democratic women all over the country, who come to Washington, an opportunity for any information or assistance that they may need. It caters to women not only on business bent, but also those seeking diversion in the nation's capitol. I think the club will gradually become a center where women from all over the country may meet, become acquainted with each other, and with the Democratic party as it functions in other parts of the country.
I was surprised in talking to some Democratic women from different parts of the United States, to find that when the call had come to them to organize a money raising day for the National Democratic Committee and the National Democratic Club, that many of them felt they could not undertake this burden because of previous local financial campaigns or because of some other work for the party which had been going on during previous months.
This happens to be a country where the two party system is necessary to the proper functioning of our democracy. Therefore, it seems to me that when the women in either party are asked to make a special effort for some party activity, it is part of their obligation as citizens to do so. You may be collecting money which seems unimportant, but you are also obliged to give reasons for the need of that money. It is an opportunity to get across the ideas of the various parties and that is fundamental to the proper functioning as citizens in a democracy. It seems to me the women should be the first to grasp this fact and should give their full cooperation with the sense that they are performing not only a party obligation, but an obligation to the country which functions under a party system.
This morning I had an opportunity of talking with a number of people on various types of educational programs. I am much interested to find that the labor unions are now recognizing the value in adult education of giving people a knowledge of various arts and crafts. The possibility of creative work is important and appreciation of these arts adds greatly to the cultural life of our people.
I attended the luncheon of the B'nai B'rith Auxiliary of the District of Columbia, which celebrated its first birthday. The organization as a whole is 96 years old in this country and this auxilliary is a very vigorous baby. The record of work accomplished during this first year took my breath away. I only wish that every organization would put forth as much energy and enthusiasm, for we would have remarkable results.
In a few minutes we are leaving for New York City and tomorrow night I shall attend a meeting and speak in Lenox, Mass.