My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

I had my first experience today with conversation carried on through an interpreter. Two Russian women, who are over here with a big group, studying our factories and machinery, came to lunch. Madame Molotov, whose husband is an important official of the Soviet Union, is president of sixteen factories. Miss Schaposhnikova is president of seven. These factories make soap, cosmetics and perfume. Madame Troyanovsky, the Ambassador's wife, acted as interpreter. The ladies spoke German and I was the only American at the table who knew German and I have become a bit halting. Somehow or other, we got on and the ladies told us they worked hard and were promoting the use of cosmetics even among the farm women of Russia and that at present more than fifty percent of the Russian women were using the better grades of face soap and cosmetics.

My other guests were Mrs. Hull, Mrs. Wallace and Representative Isabella Greenway. Mrs. Greenway brought a laugh at my expense when she said: "Of course you must not judge the other women of this country by Mrs. Roosevelt and myself. I feel quite sure that if Mrs. Roosevelt began to do one eyebrow she would go out forgetting to do the other!"

My husband and I had a rare treat last night in listening to Marian Anderson, a colored contralto who has made a great success in Europe. She has sung before nearly all the crowned heads and I hope she will be successful here, for I have rarely heard a more beautiful and moving voice or a more finished artist. She sang three Schubert songs and finished with two Negro spirituals, one of which I had never heard before. Our guests, Mr. & Mrs. William Denman of San Francisco enjoyed her as much as we did.

This morning was busy with a press conference, a number of visitors and a variety of mail. This afternoon I went to a reception and tea at the Congressional Club and am now about to take a six o'clock train to New York.

E.R.
TMsd 20 February 1936, AERP, FDRL