My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—Last Thursday I attended a luncheon given by the Americans for Democratic Action in honor of Mrs. Eugenie Anderson, our first full-fledged woman Ambassador from the United States. Mrs. Anderson sailed for Denmark Friday morning with her family on a Danish freighter.

Denmark has already become acquainted with a very talented and interesting American woman, since Mrs. Ruth Bryan Rhode was our Minister there, filling her post admirably and gaining the affection of the Danish people. She in turn loved Denmark and has done much to bring to this country a wider understanding of that small independent democracy. Her Danish husband, who is a very charming person, has of course helped her greatly. Mrs. Anderson's husband is an artist, and while accustomed to living on their farm in Minnesota, it still is not impossible for him to take his work with him.

Mrs. Anderson made a very graceful speech on Thursday in which she explained her great interest in Americans for Democratic Action and told of her activities, through that organization, to bring about better government. These had led her to the position of National Democratic Committeewoman and finally brought her the recognition which was taking her to Denmark. She felt that her appointment was really a recognition of the value of women's work politically, and she hoped it would emphasize the obligation of all women to work for good government and to take political posts when they were able to do so.

Mrs. Anderson's two children are just the right age to get a great deal out of a few years spent in Europe. A boy of 11 and a girl of 15 should learn several languages in a short time, and should come back to this country better equipped to understand the peoples of foreign countries and possessing a conception of history which should aid them later in their more advanced studies.

I liked particularly what the Danish Ambassador said at this lunch. As toastmistress, I had invited him to give some advice to our new Ambassador and his advice was given in a light and charming manner, but nevertheless it was sound and good. He told her that among diplomats there was often a diplomatic disease. He did not think that she would wear striped pants and spats, but even in skirts she might become a stuffed shirt, and he begged her to remain her natural, simple, charming self and emphasized that association with the average people of the country she was accredited to, would be of value to her and to her country. He said that there was a friendly feeling towards the USA in Denmark because their liberation had been brought about by the Allied Armies and Marshall aid was giving them a chance to recover much faster than they otherwise could, so she would be welcomed warmly. The future development of friendly relations would lie in her hands and the bonds of friendship would grow if she remains her warm and simple self. Isn't that good advice for any American foreign service official?

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL