NOVEMBER 8, 1941
WASHINGTON, Friday—I was very much impressed yesterday afternoon with the amount of work which is being done by the English-Speaking Union. Their toys are charming and each doll will represent some very necessary vitamin pills for a child in Great Britain. Supplies of all sorts are accumulated and sent out from a very active workroom. I felt like congratulating the many hard workers with whom I had the pleasure of shaking hands.
I went to see my cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Parish, in the late afternoon. After supper and a meeting at our own house in the evening, I caught the night train back to Washington.
The day here has been very busy. First, at the office, then at the White House. A number of people came to lunch and then back to the office and finally home to entertain a group of people at a reception given in the interests of the International Student Service.
I am always amused when certain writers insinuate that this organization must have something wrong with it because I am associated with it. Of course, it existed long before I went on the board, and that board chose their general secretary, Mr. Joseph Lash, before I was asked to be one of their number. The names of those who sponsor this organization and are on the board, should guarantee its complete respectability.
This afternoon, Mr. Archibald MacLeish gave the explanation for his interest in the International Student Service, and an interesting talk. This was followed by an account of the work we hope to do in the Washington Bureau. Finally, the general objectives and activities were explained, covering aid to refugee students, work camps, conferences on the campuses designed to awaken the young people to an interest in exploring their reasons for a belief in democracy, and to bring together students and faculty in helpful discussions.
Their magazine, "The Threshold," offers an outlet for good writing by students on any subject that interests them. They are constantly developing new ways in which to stimulate the interest of students in exploring subjects that will lead them into other organizations.
Tonight I am having a meeting of the staff working in the Office of Civilian Defense. I am anxious that we should all get together and know each other, and that we should from time to time, have an opportunity to hear things from other people which will give us all a better understanding of the reasons why we are all at work.