My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

Last night the Judicial Reception took place and as some of my family would say, there could not have been a more appropriate time! The twinkle in the eye of Chief Justice Hughes as he approached, showed that he appreciated it as well as we did.

We had four English guests for dinner. On the night of an official reception we dine early so that everything may be in order before people begin to arrive at nine. After dinner, we go upstairs to talk and last night, my husband went into his study to work. I asked if I might bring our guests in to see the little ceremony of the flags, which I thought would interest our friends, and so at eight-forty we all joined the President.

The color guard marches up the big staircase and into my husband's study, where the flag of the United States and the President's flag ordinarily stands, one on either side of the mantlepiece. Before all official receptions this ceremony takes place with everyone in the room standing. The guard salutes the flags, takes them from their places and then marches downstairs placing them outside the Blue Room and standing guard as long as my husband is receiving. After he goes upstairs, the color guard again takes the flags and marches upstairs and replaces them in their customary places. We have so few traditional ceremonies in this country, I always think this one of interest.

A few minutes afterwards our guests went downstairs to the Red Room, and at nine o'clock the usher came for the President and me. First we greet the members of the Cabinet in the family dining room, then falling into line we walk down the hall to the Red Room and into the Blue Room to take up our stand in front of the bank of ferns and palms which is placed across the room on reception nights. The Cabinet remains in the Red Room to greet the guests after they have gone past the President, but as it was a judicial reception, the Attorney General and Mrs. Cummings hurried into the Green Room so they could come through the receiving line immediately after the Justices.

There were rather more than a thousand last night and when all the guests had been received, the band began to play for dancing.

E.R.
TMsd 10 January 1936, AERP, FDRL