November 19, 1939
WASHINGTON, Friday—West Chester (Pennsylvania) State Teachers College, which I visited yesterday, is an interesting institution. The whole place was agog over the celebration for one of their graduates, Mr. Mark Sullivan. He had been there the day before to celebrate, in the community in which he had graduated from college and with the first newspaper on which he had ever worked, his fiftieth year of newspaper work. It must have been a great day for all the young people, but for those who work on the college paper and who interviewed me, it evidently held a special significance.
I had a delightful time at dinner with Dr. Green, who is now head master of a school in New Jersey, but who had taught for thirty years in this college. His associations were evidently with my own side of the Roosevelt family, and he knows most of the Theodore Roosevelts and the Nicholas Longworths.
The President of the College, Dr. Swope, and his wife were delightful hosts. They have a young son of whom I am sure they are proud, for he had as pleasant a way of making us feel welcome as had his parents. He was still awake when I came back to change my dress before driving to Philadelphia to take the night train to Washington. He lay in bed watching me sign his own autograph book and one belonging to a friend. I only hope that after all the excitement was over he was able to go to sleep, for I imagine that school had to be attended this morning.
Arrived at the White House, I breakfasted in relays. First of all, one cup of coffee with my little friend, Mayris Chaney, who had to be out early to go to a rehearsal, then a second cup with the Premier of Canada, Mr. Mackenzie King, Mr. Harry Hooker and our son, James. The latter has started back for the West Coast and I hope that when he arrives there Saturday morning he will find himself none the worse for his little jaunt across the Continent and back.
Then came a long session with Mrs. Helm, who had saved up innumerable little slips of paper with questions on them for my return. I shudder to think of what would happen to the social program if she were not on the job. I simply would never remember all the little details that go with a smooth-running official entertainment.
After Mrs. Helm, the housekeeper, then a press conference at which I detected an increasing interest in the visit of the King and Queen of England. Finally, a number of friends lunched with me, some of whom I had not seen for a long time and it certainly was warming to the heart to glimpse people for whom I have a real affection.
After that I went over to the Hotel Washington to spend some time with the state WPA directors of adult education and recreation. I told them that I felt they were doing an exceptionally interesting and valuable piece of work, and that I also recognized the fact that it was an extremely difficult program to carry out with a staff which cannot be chosen entirely for its professional qualifications. It was most interesting to hear their comments on the situations in various parts of our country.