My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Thursday—We had a lunch of some fifty-odd ladies yesterday, all interested in the Democratic National Committee. I invited them to meet the new director of the Women's Division, Mrs. Thomas McAlister and her assistant, Mrs. May Evana of North Carolina. Both these ladies are young and pretty, and what is a great advantage in political work for it makes the gentlemen so much happier when you have to take up their time.

However, youth and beauty will not get you very far permanently unless behind it you have a few more solid qualities. There is no question that women who are going to work in their party's political organization, no matter what the party may be, will need tact and perseverance, the wisdom of the serpent and the guileless appearance of the dove! The women members of Congress were all in a great hurry to get away for fear a bill in which they all seemed to be interested, might come up before their return. Later in the day I was amused to have some male members of Congress come in late for tea and apologize because they had not been able to leave before this very same bill had come up for a vote!

I had two rather large teas yesterday afternoon of a general nature because the end of the season is drawing near and except for a few garden parties in May, there will only be receptions for groups of people belonging to organizations which are holding their conventions here, and for special groups which are visiting the city.

Mrs. William Brown Meloney came down from New York to spend the night, and James and Betsey came over to join us at dinner and we had a light and amusing movie for them. The youngsters felt the need of something to take their minds off the excitement of the past few days. Little Sara is doing very well, however, and only wonders why she is not allowed to laugh.

This morning John and a friend of his and I went for a ride. I had worked late last night and somehow had a feeling that a little fresh air and exercise would be good for my disposition. We returned in time for lunch and had a very distinguished group of doctors who are interested in a recent report which has been published by the American Foundation, lunched with us and attended a conference lasting for about an hour afterwards. Then I took them all on a brief tour of the second floor of the White House which seemed to interest them, though the fact that they had to make a train made a number of them keep their eyes on their watches a good deal of the time.

A group of this kind is very stimulating to talk with, you have a feeling that here are men who are primarily interested in their work quite aside from what reward it may bring them. Not that rewards are to be despised, but their work is all important, they dream of great accomplishments, they take pride in the scientific attitude of approach to the problems in their field and these things are so much more important to them than the desire for personal recognition of any kind.

E.R.
TMsd 8 April 1937, AERP, FDRL