My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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We had fifty-two ladies at luncheon today! I always ask a number of the wives of the Diplomatic Corps, for I think it is pleasant for the American women who are living in Washington temporarily, or coming from other states, to have an opportunity to talk with these women who are representing their countries here and who will interpret American women when they go home to their friends on the basis of those they have had the opportunity to know while here.

The wife of the Argentine Ambassador, Senora de Espil, who is an American, sat on my right, and the wife of the Brazilian Ambassador, Madame Aranha, sat on my left. The latter has two young daughters, twelve and seventeen years old, who are in school here and she bemoans the fact that they have learned English so much faster than she has. One of the advantages of youth!

I started to tell Madame Espil a little about the American women beside the two Cabinet wives, Mrs. Dern and Mrs. Cummings, who were present and grew rather interested myself in giving an account of their various activities. I pointed out Mrs. Nellie Taylor Ross, Director of the Mint; Miss Dorothy Thompson, well known author; Miss Dorothy Straus, a young lawyer from New York City; Mrs. Izetta Jewell Miller, Regional Director for the Women's Division of the Works Progress Administration; Miss Jane Hoey who has recently joined the staff of the Social Security Board and who is well known for her ten years of work with the Welfare Council in New York City; Miss Winifred Mallon, President of the Women's Press Club here; Mrs. Lucille McMillin of the Civil Service Commission; Mrs. Carroll Miller, National Committeewoman from Pennsylvania; Mrs. Annie Dickie Olsen of Minnesota; Mrs. Lawrence McDaniel of Missouri; Mrs. Thomas McAllister of Michigan, all active in work of one kind or another in their states. Added to these were wives of numerous Senators and Congressmen and one member of Congress from Indiana, Mrs. Virginia Jenckes.

I remember some years ago, a man said to my husband that he felt when women took part in politics and business that they would undoubtedly lose some of their feminine charm, but as I looked around the table I decided that this fear was being proved groundless because there seemed to be plenty of good looks and charm and brains as well in evidence!

E.R.
TMsd 4 February 1936, AERP, FDRL