My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Friday—And here we are back in Washington! When we sank into our berths on the train last night after a crowded but very kindly farewell in Knoxville, Mrs. Scheider and I exclaimed: "How odd it will be to find ourselves at home and have no one pay any attention to us!" But, we spoke too soon, forgetting the number of young people who visit Washington around Easter time.

As we came up the station steps this morning, there was a crowd of youngsters all labelled, and with little sticks in their hands preparatory to starting on some trip or else finishing their visit to the Capitol. They caught sight of us and there was a wild rush for the gate through which we had to pass. The Associated Press was there too in the guise of a young lady who came I think primarily because she knew we would bring her some messages from her friends in Oklahoma. She only left there before Christmas and I imagine it was rather nice to know that the newspaper fraternity in her own city had asked after her.

Much mail awaits us here, and many questions to be settled for the coming week promises to be a busy one, and I am glad of this little interim of quiet before the President gets in tomorrow morning.

Mrs. Scheider and I, lunching alone, both suddenly discovered that we felt as though the scenery aught to be moving past our window and the train swaying under us. It is almost like getting accustomed to land after you have been to sea.

I feel that we should register complete exhaustion for everybody whom I see looks so surprised and exclaims that we really look quite well, and when I talked to my brother just now his voice sounded positively mystified as he remarked: "Why, you sound full of pep!"

In summing up the trip from the point of view of what I learned about my own country, I should say that every state in which I have been needs a soil erosion program extending over a long period of time. In addition it seems to me that in many states an intensive program of education in sanitation and in better standards of living needs to be inaugurated.

In a warm climate life is easier and one is inclined to be less energetic, but the danger is no less serious from infection and it seems to me that there is little knowledge on the ordinary rules of sanitation in many of the rural districts of the south in which we have been. The same holds true of some of the poorer districts in the cities. We all know that you can become immune to almost any type of infection, but some people die in the process unnecessarily.

It is certainly nice to find everyone here apparently happy to see us back and one especially nice visitor walked into the house just after we did. Our little grandson— Bill, has come to stay a while as his mother is away, as he puts it: "On an island!"

E.R.
TMsd 26 March 1937, AERP, FDRL