OCTOBER 13, 1941
WASHINGTON, Sunday—I arrived in the rain in Albany, N.Y., on Friday, but it soon cleared and the day in Troy, N.Y., was interesting. We first stopped a minute at the Samaritan Hospital to see a boy who is there in an iron lung, as a result of an attack of infantile paralysis. His aunt was a nurse in the Navy Hospital during the last war, and had known me then, so she wrote to ask if I would pay her nephew a visit. He is full of courage and as cheerful as one can be in such a difficult situation. I marvel always at the spirit of youth, and I feel that it can accomplish wonders.
We lunched with the Mayor of Troy, who was most kind. Then the ladies from Mexico, Panama, Brazil, the Argentine, Chile and Bolivia, with Miss Mary Winslow and myself, sat down before a full house in the very charming old music hall, and carried on a panel discussion. Each of them had an opportunity to state what the women could do in a period of crisis to improve relationships in our hemisphere.
I stand in admiration before these women who are able to speak English so well and to express their thoughts clearly before such large groups of people. I was particularly impressed by the youngest member of the party, who represented the youth of South America. She is only 26 years old, and yet she is pioneering in social service in Brazil. She has taken charge of the first children's court, has written a book on the care of dependent children in Brazil, and has inaugurated a system for the guidance of boys and girls coming out of reformatories. Not many of our own young people can chalk up such a record by the time they are 26.
The conversation in the evening, at which these distinguished Central and South American women were given honorary degrees by Russell Sage College, was a colorful and delightful ceremony. Speeches were made by the representatives of the Mexican and Cuban governments and our own State Department.
I took the night train back to New York City and arrived here before lunch on Saturday, then I attended to a little business and went off with the President and a small party for a short trip down the Potomac. We had dinner on board and were home by 9:00 o'clock, in time to get Miss Helen Gahagan, who has been staying with us, off on her plane. I always hate to see her go, for she is such an enthusiastic person and a joy to have in the house.
Today is a beautiful day, and I hope for a little more fresh air and exercise. There will be a number of guests for lunch and supper.