NOVEMBER 6, 1940
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—This is Election Day and I have been told with great firmness to get my column in early because the telegraph wires into New York City will soon be busy with election news. Of course, nothing authentic in the way of election returns can come in until the late afternoon, but I suppose newspaper correspondents will be filing stories all during the day about minor happenings here and there.
Yesterday was calm and peaceful. I met my husband in the morning, rode for a while through the woods and the fields and enjoyed the blue sky and the warm sun. Then we had the picnic I told you about.
We all went with the President in the evening to the meeting outside of the Nelson House in Poughkeepsie, and then returned to listen to the two hours of the Democratic broadcast. I found that the President, instead of closing the program, came somewhere in the middle of it. I liked the whole program. Then we listened through the Republican hour which followed, and so went rather late to bed, for I still had mail to finish on my desk.
In spite of being busy, the atmosphere was calm, but today it is not going to be quite so calm. I am taking my ride, but at noon my husband and I, with his mother, will go up to vote and all the photographers and newspapermen will be on hand to record the process as they have done so often before. I shall feel quite calm, but no one thinks that you should be calm, so, willy-nilly, you find yourself being urged into excitement.
The telephones will ring and people will be rising from the table during meals to answer them. The President will have to talk to many people and in spite of all one can do, election excitement will mount. By the time returns are really coming in, very few of us will be left who are capable of comparing past votes with present figures and making any evaluation of what is really going on.
I remember what it was like the first time my husband ran for the New York State Senate. We had no radio and no news service in the house then, and if I remember rightly it was thirty-two years since a Democratic State Senator had gone from this district to Albany. The campaign had been an intensive one, and I doubt very much if he has ever worked harder since. I wanted him to win just because he was running, and because I felt he might do something of value for the district.
From then on there have been campaigns for various offices. Some were lost and more were won, but I think my feelings have always been much as they were the first time. I think I can say with honesty: "May what is best for the country happen today, and may we all remember that whatever happens, this is just the beginning of some years of useful work."