My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Thursday—The last appointment yesterday came after a rather hilarious dinner, during which such members of the family as were present spent their time trying to shock me! Not good preparation for a serious talk, but Mr. Aubrey Williams and a number of the Youth Administration people who came to discuss with me the relative values of various phases of the work of the National Youth Administration, were very serious. My admiration for those who work in this programme is constantly going up and I was sorry I could only give them half an hour.

By midnight, Mrs. Scheider and I were on the train for New York and we got off as soon as we arrived this morning in order to have a chance to organize our day, before we did a few errands and left by the tube for Newark where I was giving a lecture under the auspices of the Essex County Symphony Society. Just as we drew into the Park Street Station in Newark, the storm which had been threatening for some time broke in full force. Crowds stood around wondering whether to remain under shelter or to make for their street cars. One woman stopped to ask me to shake hands with her little boy. He was still so small that she carried him in her arms and I doubt if it made much difference to him with whom he shook hands. But, since some one told me the other day that her child was sending us an invitation to graduation because the grandchildren would someday be interested, I have decided that even babies may eventually desire to tell their grandchildren stories someday. It is probably better when they don't have any clear recollections for then they can use their imagination and paint all kinds of pictures as to the attributes of the Presidents and their wives with whom they have once been in contact.

Once upon a time I knew how long it would take from Thirty-Third Street, New York City to Newark, but it is such a long time since I have taken that trip, that I allowed myself only half an hour and it took me nearly three-quarters of an hour. Just running from the station to a taxicab left us with large wet patches on our backs, and well sprinkled shoes and stockings, but we dried off in the taxicab and were greeted very kindly on our arrival. Being half an hour late, I felt I deserved a reprimand.

The Essex County Symphony Society has really done an extraordinary piece of work. It was started only a year ago by a handful of people and three hundred people who were at the lunch today, each of whom had sold fifty tickets for the four concerts which the society sponsors. They have such artists as Heifitz John Charles Thomas and the course ticket is a dollar and a half, making each concert cost only thirty-seven and a half cents. The most interesting part of their undertaking seems to me to be the cooperation of all organizations interested in music, regardless of race, color or creed, and the fact that besides attending the concerts, the members are singing together. This should do much to remove the misunderstandings and apprehensions which so often grow up between different racial and religious groups in any cosmopolitan community.

One young newspaper woman asked me if I were going to do anything more today that was important. I told her that if she meant by that "official," I was not, but I felt like telling her that there is very little that seems to me important that I do, but a great deal of it is pleasant. I am only glad that the entire daily round is not what she would have termed important!

E.R.
TMsd 3 June 1937, AERP, FDRL