SEPTEMBER 20, 1941
WASHINGTON, Friday—The President left last night for Hyde Park, where he will have the pleasure of seeing two of our grandsons, little Franklin, III, and Haven Clark Roosevelt. I saw Johnny and Anne started on their drive West at a very early hour yesterday morning. They expect to reach San Diego, Cal., and to be settled by the time I start their young son on his trip by train across the Continent. In the meantime, I am missing an opportunity of seeing these two youngsters, because we are still very anxious about my brother.
The President has, in addition, as visitors in Hyde Park, the Crown Princess of Norway and her children, who are on their way home from Cape Cod. The house became so crowded that my daughter-in-law, Ethel, decided that she would take over my cottage for the weekend, and she has two young couples staying there with her. I think my husband will have plenty of activity around him, though he said he intended to get a complete rest before his return on Monday morning!
In the meantime, I am being kept very busy by visits to my brother in the hospital, and meetings with various people in preparation to moving into the new quarters of the Office of Civilian Defense. Coming into an organization which already has started, always means, for a while, that you are a little breathless trying to catch up with what everybody has done. I can hope to achieve in the near future only a slight knowledge of the work thus far accomplished.
I came across an amusing editorial in one of our newspapers the other night, entitled, "America Eats." It is an attack on the WPA writers program because, forsooth, they have undertaken to prepare a book on American eating habits! They say that an indignant reader wishes to know: "How much will this new boondoggling cost?"
It is evident that the reader and the editorial writer lack an historical approach. In the future, many people are going to be more interested in knowing what we ate in this period of our history, than in a great many other things which seem more important to these solemn minded writers.
For instance, a scientist may, perhaps, be able to tell because of this book, why certain physical characteristics or ailments existed in our people at this particular time. He may be able to trace from the eating habits of certain sections, the reasons for certain sociological changes. You are not interested in eating habits purely because you like food. These habits may be the source which will explain many events in the history of this period.