My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Thursday—The little ceremony of laying the wreath at Mt. Vernon yesterday took me back to war days and I thought of Marshall Joffre and Premier Viviani and Mr. Arthur Balfour. The English always perform this ceremony with grace and seem to have a real veneration for our Revolutionary hero. They should have, for after all, while he did break away from the mother country, it was the mother country! I suppose one can be proud of one's son's achievement even when at the time one may not have entirely agreed with their point of view!

Mrs. Hull and I walked up the hill with our guests. We stopped to look at the old coach and went through the kitchen and in to the house. As we stepped out on the porch overlooking the River, The Lady Tweedsmuir remarked: "I should think you would long to come out here to live."

It would certainly to be a wonderful place to live, but so many people visit it every day that I think we would have little privacy. We were surrounded on our walk by hundreds of people it seemed to me, and every other hand apparently held a camera. The President sat outside in the car waiting for us, talking to Colonel Dodge who has just recovered from a serious illness and therefore could not be the guide, as he usually is, in showing the house.

My husband and His Excellency drove home together. Mrs. Hull; Her Excellency and I occupied a car behind them. It occurred to me that ever since ten in the morning they had not had a minute to themselves. Just talking to people that length of time and being politely interested is a really terrific strain.

I often think that in our effort to show visitors all that we think they should see, we force upon them such long hours of sightseeing that they must reach a point where it is difficult to keep up any interest in the kaleidoscopic pictures which pass before them. Home again for tea, and while the President went for a swim I had quite a long talk with Mr. Clarence Pickett of the American Friends Service Committee and our guests and a short period of rest.

At eight o'clock we were all ready to go to a formal dinner given in honor of their excellencies. After the dinner the Howard University Glee Club and Mr. Todd Duncan gave us a perfectly delightful program. The Governor General told me that when Lady Astor wished to give him a special treat she arranged to have some Negro spirituals sung for him.

I was particularly glad I had thought of having this group last night. Mr. Duncan took the part of "Porgy" in "Porgy and Bess" so beautifully when I saw it last, that I was especially happy he could sing one selection from that play. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and this morning our guests have gone to Annapolis.

E.R.
TMsd 1 April 1937, AERP, FDRL