FEBRUARY 7, 1940
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon we had a most delightful musicale here. Miss Germaine Leroux, pianist, played with great power and it was hard to believe that such a slight, young thing could have such strength of execution. Mr. Sydney Rayner sang delightfully and his encore from Pagliacci brought down the house. In fact, one woman told me she had never heard anyone except Caruso sing it better.
Today I held the last big formal luncheon of the season, and that is all I have to tell you about purely social functions!
At 7:00 o'clock last night, I saw the opening of an exhibition at the new National Museum, which I hope every citizen in the District of Columbia will visit. Many visitors from out of town should also see it, so they will be inspired to go home and demand a similar one in their own localities. The exhibit is entitled: "Tomorrow's Citizen." Fourteen social, civic and educational groups in the District of Columbia collaborated. They have a mechanical man who tells the purpose of the exhibit and starts you on your tour. The dioramas, pictures and graphic charts tell the story. In one booth, designed to help people to do better buying, they showed actual exhibits of products sold at varying prices.
For instance, there is one product which can be bought in the same quantity at three different price levels. I only had half an hour to spend, but it was certainly worth going without dinner to see this exhibit. I kept thinking how useful it could be in acquainting rural counties, villages and cities with conditions in their own neighborhoods.
From there I went to the Professional Writers Club, where they had just about finished dinner. A most interesting program of music was played and I gave a short talk, leaving there at 8:30, and returning to the White House to meet a group of Representatives and Senators who had come to talk over the Citizenship Institute with three young leaders of the American Youth Congress. It opens this coming Friday evening, the ninth of February, and the American Youth Congress is sponsoring it here. I felt deeply grateful to those busy men who spent several hours after their day's work talking over the problems of youth. It is so encouraging to find that they realize the needs of those young people and that they want to understand them and help them.
We talked until after 11:00 o'clock and I found it an interesting evening. One of the Representatives stayed after the others had left. I found that he was under the impression that the American Youth Congress was going before Congress with a youth act that would ask for money to be appropriated to the Youth Congress. We, who are familiar with the Youth Act, take it for granted that everybody knows that these youth groups are asking for the recognition of the fact that the National Youth Administration must be a permanent and not an emergency agency, and that the appropriation they ask for is a greatly enlarged NYA program. So it was rather a shock to discover that anyone did not understand this fact.