MARCH 27, 1940
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—The children seemed to have had a wonderful time at their movies yesterday afternoon. While their parties and our teas and formal receptions did overlap each other a little, still it really was a pleasant afternoon for us all. We finished with a formal tea party in the Green Room for the President- electof Costa Rica and Senora Calderon Guardia, who were escorted from the station to the White House by Secretary Hull. On this occasion I greeted them under the front portico alone, for the President did not think it wise to go out of doors on the first day he has been out of his room.
The President appeared well, but it is rushing things just a little to attend a tea party and a state dinner on one's first day of real convalescence. I am so sorry that the President had to disappoint the Easter Monday crowds on the lawn by not giving his usual few words of greeting over the radio from the South Portico. As he looked at the people out of the window, he was grieved too, but it would have been unwise to stand in the cold.
Up to 2:30, when I went around the lawn for the second time, we had smaller crowds than usual, only about 25,000. By evening 31,481 had come in during the day, about 20,000 less than last year.
The state dinner last night was smaller than usual because there seem to be so many people away in Florida recuperating from illness or in bed with colds or grippe. I saw our guests off this morning at 10:30 and am happy to have had the opportunity of meeting them. Then I did a number of necessary errands and a broadcast at noon with two members of Mrs. Hugh Butler's speaking class for the wives of the members of Congress. It was a skit to explain some of the things which seem to confuse the average person about census questions.
Of course, the object of census taking is not only to find out how many people we have in the United States, but to discover a number of other things which may be helpful to the Government. There is no such question as: "How many times have you been divorced?" The question of whether people are married or single or widowed or divorced is a question which has been included in the census for many years. Without the cooperation of the public census taking may be valueless. It seems foolish to have it suddenly become a partisan question, when the people directing it have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.