My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Monday—After some uncertainty, the President finally decided he could stay until Monday night. This has been one of the most peaceful visits he has had during the past few years. There have been practically no outside visitors, only a few friends and relatives for meals, and no one had been here to discuss any business or any political problems. The visitors have talked of family interests and happenings and we have almost forgotten that we had a President amongst us!

I have thought once or twice of one of my fellow columnists who picked up what I had written on the subject of the tension which one usually feels in the Presidential atmosphere. He apparently thought that I was writing about the atmosphere surrounding an individual President, which of course, is natural for how should he know any better?

I was too young when Theodore Roosevelt was President to understand the feeling that even children had in coming in contact with the life around him, but I realize now that there existed exactly the same atmosphere which must exist in an even more intensified way around any President today. The constant stream of visitors, the constant feeling that matters of importance are going on, the rapid change and adjustment that must be made in the household, by the family, by the secretaries to meet the requirements for as much peace and quiet as possible for the President himself, makes it rather exhausting. To understand this, one has to experience it!

I marvel always at the ability that most of the Presidents must have had to concentrate on their problems, to adjust to the various personalities that they must deal with, and to the ever changing number of subjects that are brought to them, and to retain their own inner calm. I have never seen my own husband ruffled which must require a certain amount of self-control. All other Presidents must have gone through the same thing. The people around them must have gone through exactly the same experiences which we have gone through, and probably will continue to go through, many, many times!

These three days therefore, stand out as something for which we may all, be devoutly thankful. We had a number of heavy storms yesterday, but some of us got in a swim in the afternoon and it was cool enough last evening for us to sit and talk fairly comfortably.

The purple weed in our swamp, whatever its right name may be, is growing more beautiful every day. We must try to drain the swamp for it brings us mosquitoes but I hope that here and there we can still retain areas where this particular weed or wild flower will grow in profusion for it is one of the most beautiful things in a mass that I have ever seen. The rain has made the trees in the woods particularly luxurious and my husband came in from inspecting all his little plantations with the cheerful announcement that the trees had made a phenomenal growth this year.

E.R.
TMsd 9 August 1937, AERP, FDRL