JUNE 9, 1942
WASHINGTON, Monday—On Saturday night a few of us attended a performance of "Candida," in which were Katharine Cornell, Raymond Massey, Burgess Meredith, Brenda Forbes, Stanley Bell and Ernest Cossart. They have been giving the proceeds of all their performances to Army and Navy Relief. Saturday night's performance closed their run in Washington.
The members of the cast came back to the White House with us afterwards for supper. I was so sorry the President could not see this play, but I tried to convey to the cast how much his appreciation is of their generosity in putting in so many weeks work on benefit performances.
Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of attending a tea given for Mrs. Ruth Bryan Rohde by Mrs. Robert Armstrong, Junior. I was very happy to see Mrs. Rohde again and much interested in the war production which she and her Danish-American husband are accomplishing on their West Virginia farm. I suppose all Danish people know how to farm successfully, but just at present I wish that we all had the same amount of background and could make our land as useful.
In the evening I went to the National Gallery and took with me Mr. and Mrs. Jack Warner and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Fahy, who had been with us at supper. Mr. David Finley had written me with great pleasure that beginning last Sunday they would be able to keep the National Gallery open from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every Sunday.
Mr. Chester Dale, who had given his whole collection of 19th Century French paintings to the Gallery, has made it possible for them to have a part of the symphony orchestra there every Sunday evening. People were gathered around one of the fountains listening to the program and I think it was one of the pleasantest hours that anyone could spend on a hot summer evening.
I have always hoped that we could use our galleries on Sundays and holidays so that government workers—and now the men in the camps—could have a chance to see some of the treasures housed in our capital city. Judging by the number that crowded the National Gallery yesterday, I think it is going to be a popular idea.
Today is a gray day and not as warm as yesterday. I have a press conference this morning, one or two guests at lunch and several afternoon appointments. However, on the whole, we are settling down to less crowded days and I actually read nearly halfwaythrough a book at one sitting yesterday afternoon!