My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Monday—Today has been quite busy, starting out with eight o'clock breakfast on the porch with Elliott and Ruth, because Elliott was going to make an early start on his business engagements. We got to discussing the state of the nation, however, and it was after nine before I returned to my usual morning routine.

The President with Anna and John, and James and Betsey arrived from the "Potomac" a little before ten, having had, to all appearances, a perfectly delightful weekend and looking the picture of health. Everyone rushed to the telephone to make their own arrangements for the day, and I retired to my desk to resume the usual little chores that await one on returning from a few days' absence.

At eleven o'clock there was a press conference and when the questioning began as to what we were doing the day of the wedding, minute by minute, what the family was doing that day; what they were all doing now; what the wedding presents were; I suddenly realized what an unsatisfactory person I was. There were so many things I had never thought even to ask about. Wedding presents are one of those things. Of course, one is happy to have one's friends fond of one's children, but it never occurs to me to wonder what they may choose as wedding presents, and when one lady asked me if I would please give the names of important family friends who would be at the wedding, I suddenly found my mind a blank. My real friends are all important to me, but I question very much whether they are of great importance to the world at large! So I came to the conclusion that this morning's conference was not very satisfactory to my press ladies.

Then I had a visit from two people on behalf of a friend of theirs whom they are most desirous of helping, followed by a lady who has a most interesting peace plan. The gist of it is that we should give the people of this country what they want and help to formulate it for them. She thinks they desire the assurance that nothing will take them outside of this country to war, and that they also desire to have this made clear to foreign nations by the abandonment of all armaments which could possibly be used anywhere except along our shores. She thinks this would create a great confidence in other nations and would therefore make for peace amongst them and at the same time save for us a substantial sum of money which could be used on necessary social welfare or educational measures in our own country. I agreed to read and consider her plan, but it seems to me to require an amount of real statistical research which would have to be done by people who are in a position to know many things which I cannot possibly know. I am not sure whether our people will agree to the premise on which the plan is based that an attacking force should remain unmolested until it was within striking distance of our shores. When you begin to speak for a nation as big as ours, it seems to me that any one individual is undertaking an extremely difficult piece of work.

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