My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Friday—Three very interesting people came to dine with us last night. Miss Martha Gellhorn, Mr. Ernest Hemingway, both writers, and Mr. Joris Ivens, a Dutchman and a most artistic and fearless maker of films. He is now working, I understand, on educational films in an effort to condense the best that is in many of the modern great pictures and give them in short form to the youth of the nation.

After dinner the two men showed us a film which they had made. The interesting thing in this case is the fact that the picture was not made for personal gain. The profits, if any come, are going into the purchase of ambulances to help the sick and dying in a part of the world which is at present wartorn.

In the picture, however, I think they presuppose too much knowledge of old world conditions and I hope before it is shown generally, there will be some way of bringing out the background which is very alien to our own country. Here land is not as yet concentrated in the hands of any groups to such an extent that the people generally can not acquire any for themselves. This has been the case in Europe, even in the Far East and often caused great hardship.

To me another interesting thing about the picture was the faces of the men and women. No matter what their occupations—farmers, soldiers, orators or village housewives, all of them were interesting types of people whom you felt you would like to study. The pity of it all however, kept running through my mind. When will we learn to talk things out and not go at each other's throats like wild beasts?

How many people seeing "Wee Willie Winkie", will get from it I wonder, the main lesson. It took a little child's faith and logic to bring a dangerous tribal chief in India to an understanding with his ancient enemy, "The soldier of the Queen."

My guests and I took the midnight train to New York and it seemed warm as we drove through the streets of Washington. At first the train seemed cooler, but once in bed until we started I felt it was hard to get a real breath.

At the apartment this morning Mrs. Scheider and I breakfasted on our porch and soon made up our minds that New York City had no attractions for us in summer. By nine forty-five we were on the train for our trip up the Hudson River. It was comfortable, though as we looked out on the smooth surface of the water and the hazy atmosphere, we knew that it was a hot day.

When I said good-bye to my husband last night I suggested to him that he spend what time he could on the Potomac River at least at night. His office is air cooled but he observes that the difference between the outer air and the air in his office is too great, for he believes firmly that though it may add to your comfort during the day, it is really better for you to have to endure the discomfort that nature brings you for the good of your soul!

Eleanor Roosevelt.
TMsd 9 July 1937, AERP, FDRL