FEBRUARY 4, 1941
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Yesterday promised to be a peaceful day, but I forgot that I had been away Saturday and not one, but two baskets of mail awaited my return.
However, even though I had taken Saturday off, I felt I must be free one day in the week in the White House, so I deliberately spent some time showing the children around the house after lunch, and talking with various friends. In between, I read through innumerable letters. My tea guests stayed until 7:00 o'clock and I was barely ready to welcome other guests who came to supper.
After supper we had "The March of Time" and a light newsreel, which the President seemed to enjoy. At 9:20, I left to go on the radio with Mr. Bill Stern for three minutes. It was an interesting opportunity to meet him and it was an added pleasure to find both his wife and mother in the studio. I suppose, just because I am so poor at all sports, I have a great admiration for those who excel in sports and who know a great deal about them.
This morning I went to Mrs. Townsend's musicale and enjoyed hearing Mr. Emanuel Feuerman and Mr. Rudolph Serkin. Mrs. Claude Wickard, the wife of the Secretary of Agriculture, and I drove straight to the Shoreham Hotel to lunch with Mrs. Jesse Jones, wife of the Secretary of Commerce, who gave a charming party for me. From there I went with Mrs. Morgenthau to the house warming in the new house just opened by the Washington Self-Help Exchange Inc.
This house stands by itself, quite back from the street and is admirably fitted to be a home for single men. There is ample room downstairs for lounging and office work, as well as a kitchen and dining room. Forty-seven men can be housed on the second and third floors. The building has been completely rehabilitated by the men themselves.
They learned how to scrape and refinish floors. They painted everything. They recovered chairs and hung curtains. Not one new thing was bought for this whole house and yet it is simple and attractive in its furnishings. This is a temporary home for lonely men and they pay for their room and board in script, which they earn in the shops. At the same time they do work which will help them to obtain jobs, which may be enough to put many of them back on their feet as self-supporting human beings.
They had at the house an exhibition of the work done at the exchange shops which are, of course, in another building. They have a baby dress made from the material which architects use in their drawings, and a very nice baby dress it was. There were also many loaves of bread from their bakery and much reconstructed furniture.
Back at the White House I received the Ambassador of Panama and Senora Brin, and the Ambassador of Chile and Senora Michels. This evening we have a number of people coming to dinner with us informally.