Late one afternoon last week Franklin Roosevelt drove out to Washington's Naval Hospital to see his oldest political adviser, Louis McHenry Howe, abed for a year with heart and lung trouble. The President visited his No. 1 secretary because Louis Howe is the foremost member of the Cuff-Links Gang. This organization is composed of friends who helped Franklin Roosevelt run for Vice President in 1920 and to whom he gave sets of cuff links in remembrance of that unfortunate political campaign. Of late years the Cuff-Links Gang has been getting together with the President to help him celebrate his birthdays.
That evening Franklin Roosevelt was 54 and the Gang, including White House Secretaries Marvin Mclntyre and Stephen Early, Thomas Lynch, Appraiser of the Port of New York, Stanley Prenosil, a Manhattan businessman and Kirke Simpson of the Associated Press, held private revel in the White House. So far as most of the U. S. was concerned, the President's real birthday party was divided into some 7,000 parts, scattered in some 5,000 U. S. cities and towns, attended by an estimated 5,000,000 guests and yielding a net profit of over $1,000,000.
In four birthday balls President Roosevelt had special interest. One was held in Georgia Hall, at Warm Springs Foundation, mainspring of the President's favorite charity. Another was held at Coral Gables, Fla. where Tycoon Henry L. Doherty, organizer of the birthday ball system, personally held sway. The third was a syndicate of birthday balls in Washington, to which 18,000 $2.50 tickets were sold entitling the bearers to visit balls at all or any of six hotels, to travel from ball to ball by free bus. Among the travelers were Guy Lombardo & orchestra, Cinemactress Ginger Rogers (who, though no member of the Cuff-Links Gang, dropped in at the White House) and Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt. Accompanied by a troupe of handmaidens including Nancy Cook, Marion Dickerman, Malvina Thompson Scheider and Marguerite ("Missy'') Le Hand, and wearing a necklace of tiger's claws, the President's wife went successively from the Raleigh to the Willard, to the Washington, to the Mayflower, to the Wardman Park, to the Shoreham Hotel where she cut a great cake into pieces flung as largesse to the crowd.