MARCH 9, 1940
WASHINGTON, Friday—We had a very interesting evening on Thursday. A number of members of Congress and their wives came to see the picture called: "Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet." It is about the life of Dr. Ehrlich and is as thrilling as the life of Dr. Pasteur. Everybody present not already familiar with the story of how this particular scientific discovery was made, was deeply interested.
I wish we all could achieve the scientific spirit which wants to reach the root of the trouble, rather than to worry along with superficial knowledge content to ameliorate our ills instead of searching for the cure. It seems to me that the principle involved is applicable to so much that the world is facing today. Instead of accepting any straw at which we can grasp, and which seems temporarily to alleviate certain difficulties, the application of the scientific spirit, which insists on knowing the whole case, facing all the implications of a situation, and then experiments until the successful answer is found, is probably the attitude which all of should have toward the world problems before us.
We need the kind of courage that Dr. Ehrlich and his assistants had. It did not allow them to give up when they expected success after a few experiments, but gave them the strength to face disappointments until "606" proved the answer to their riddle.
This morning I went to speak in the Town Hall series of lectures. Next week Miss Elizabeth Hawes will be their lecturer and I think the audience will find her both entertaining and stimulating. I had the pleasure last spring of talking to her about a project in which she was interested, and was fascinated by her personality even more than by the subject on which she was conversing. She told me she runs a business because she feels she must do some regular work and she writes only as an avocation. Here she can give free rein to her imagination, which has made her successful in the art of dressing lovely ladies, and also in the art of producing new ideas on paper for our enjoyment.
I attended the Voteless District of Columbia League of Women Voters' annual luncheon and enjoyed very much a dramatic presentation which gave the League's conception of the problems of the District of Columbia. The scenes were cleverly done, especially the last where the cast joins in the singing of a song to the tune of: "Oh, Johnny." It is amusing enough for me to hope that the District Committees will invite the group to come and sing this song for them. Their hearings must be rather dull and solemn and this might give a few brief moments of relaxation to weary gentlemen.
Miss Luise Rainer, who is here starring in "Saint Joan" for the benefit of the American Red Cross, is coming to see me this afternoon. I look forward to the pleasure of a few minutes chat with her.