My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday night Miss Martha Graham of New York came down and danced for us after dinner. I asked her afterwards if it did not require the most tremendous amount of training to keep her body under such perfect control and she told me she had to work four hours every day, and that if she took six weeks off in summer it took her two months to regain what she had temporarily lost. How few of us realize when we watch a performance that what may interest us for a short time requires so much hard work and devotion on the part of the artist.

Miss Sydney Thompson did two of her sketches in costume one from Balzac and one from Guy de Maupassant. The combination of the two artists was quite delightful for it brought the old days in the person of Miss Thompson in sharp contrast to probably the most modern expression of the dance we have, in the person of Miss Graham.

I went over to the YWCA yesterday afternoon to meet the Girl Reserves from eleven nearby cities who are holding a two-day conference here. I think these girls who live near Washington are very fortunate for they have an opportunity to come in contact with a number of people who can give them really interesting experiences. For instance yesterday Mrs. O'Day had been in and given them a talk on her trip to Buenos Aires.

My husband took all the gentlemen, including Franklin Jr.'s and John's friends who are staying in the house with him to the White House Correspondents' dinner. I thought it was most kind and hospitable of this group of correspondents to include so many of our guests and I have been much interested to hear the comments of the younger members of the household today who seem to have had the time of their lives. Young and old were happy for my husband said to me as he went out: "This is a nice evening. I don't have to make a speech. I just enjoy myself."

My mother-in-law arrived yesterday afternoon and after dinner she went with Mrs. du Pont to see Ethel at the hospital while Mrs. Scheider who dined with us, worked and Lady Willert, Miss Fannie Hurst, Mrs. Leach and I had a grand evening of talk.

I have been given Ward Miller's "Death in the Deep South" and I am looking forward to reading it now that the social season is over and I have a little more leisure.

This morning most of the household, including Mr. T. Jefferson Newbold who arrived from Boston, went to church.

John and I hope to get a ride this afternoon and tonight we are celebrating his twenty-first birthday, the actual date is March thirteenth, but my husband hoped that he might be in Georgia by that time, I will be on a lecture trip and John himself could not be here, so we decided that this weekend when we had so many of the family here was a good time to do the celebrating of his coming of age.

E.R.
TMsd 28 February 1937, AERP, FDRL