My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Sunday—Inauguration activities begin the day before inauguration, and so on Friday we had a buffet lunch at the White House for the people who worked at campaign headquarters or in some of the other campaign committees. Then at 3 o'clock I received for an hour, greeting people whom the Democratic National Committee thought would enjoy getting a glimpse of the White House.

At 4 o'clock I was at the Women's National Democratic Club, which held open house for the women who are here for the inauguration. A little after 5 o'clock, I stopped for a few minutes at Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Ewing's reception for the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Robert Hannegan, and Mrs. Hannegan.

I went home to greet some grandchildren who were coming down from New York City, and at 7 o'clock I went off to the electors' dinner, leaving the older grandchildren at a gala dinner with their grandfather, and very pleased to have him all to themselves. The electors' dinner seemed to me almost a pre-war entertainment. I found it difficult to adjust myself, because at the last inauguration clouds hung heavily over our heads, even though we had not actually faced the realities of war; and now that these are always in the back of one's mind, I find it very hard to get away from them.

Saturday morning all the grandchildren—even the youngest, Nina, aged two—came to the religious services in the East Room. I think this service more nearly met the needs of the day than anything else that followed. This is certainly a time when any human being must long for strength beyond his own, and for vision and courage which one can only pray for.

At noon we were all on the south portico, the grandchildren down on the steps and the audience out on the lawn surrounded by snow. The ceremonies were short—shorter than ever before, I think—but very solemn and impressive.

At one o'clock we had a very simple buffet lunch for many guests, and at 4:30 the electors were received by the President and myself. At 5 o'clock I had a tea which lasted into late afternoon. At all of these occasions, Mrs. Truman received with me.

We had a family dinner in the evening, including the older grandchildren, and that was the end of a busy day.

Even during the purely social features, one carries a constant sense of the solemnity of an occasion such as this, occurring as it does while we are in the midst of war. Knowing the constant anxiety which thousands of people are going through day by day, and the tremendous problems that lie ahead of us, one feels the need for dedication to his task on the part of every elected or appointed servant of the people serving in government during this period.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL