My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Monday—I was awakened this morning after working late last night by a telephone call, and someone said to me on the wire: "Many happy returns of the day." A little after midnight, a friend who is staying with me had reminded me that this was already my birthday but I had forgotten it, so it was very pleasant to hear from a very good friend the first thing in the morning.

As soon as I had finished talking, I jumped up and hurried to get ready for breakfast with my guests and then after a few household duties were accomplished, off for a good ride. It was a beautiful day and the mere fact that I knew there were many things to be done and therefore should probably not be out on the bridle path, gave me all the more sense of enjoyment. Stealing one's pleasures from the hours of a busy day gives one a little the same feeling that the child has who steals the jam in the pantry knowing quite well it probably will be on the table for tea!

On my return, there was a press conference, and then a group of people to discuss the progress of one of the homesteads who remained for luncheon. Afterwards I drove out to Miss Madeira's school which my little cousin is attending. I had never been in the grounds before, and I was struck by their beauty. Seeing all the girls at their different afternoon occupations was interesting. Some were riding, some were practicing archery, some were playing hockey, still others just seemed to be wandering around in the mellow autumn sunshine. The living room and the library are delightful rooms, and Miss Madeira took me out on the terrace so I could see the view of the Potomac.

I have always believed that beautiful surroundings were a help in education and certainly these girls are greatly privileged.

On my return a few friends came to tea, and Sara and Kate bringing little Diana Hopkins with them, arrived to deliver their birthday gift in person. They were followed by little Eleanor Lund who also managed to say "Happy Birthday" and to give me her gift, though I think there had been some fear that she might decide to keep it for herself!

In the midst of this baby party, the usher announced that the President was in the West Hall and Mr. Mussolini was about to come up, so I left them all and went to pour tea for the more formal group consisting of Mr. Mussolini, the Italian Ambassador, Mr. Suvich our own Ambassador to Italy, Mr. Phillips and the Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Sumner Welles. Two weeks ago Mr. Mussolini spoke no English, today he was able to answer my husband's questions with apparent ease. When I asked him if his sister were coming over later, he understood me perfectly and said he hoped she would come before long. He seems a very pleasant young man, much like any of our own boys travelling in a foreign country and I hope he will enjoy his brief stay with us.

E.R.
TMsd 11 October 1937, AERP, FDRL