My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Wednesday—The visit of the President of Chile, Gabriel Gonzalez Videla and his charming wife to Hyde Park the other day was an informal and very pleasant occasion. From the time I greeted them, as they walked from the library to my husband's grave, through the visit to the old house, the recording for the Voice of America on the front steps, and finally to the library, the whole party seemed interested and unweary in spite of the whirlwind pace of events arranged for them since they arrived in the United States.

Ambassador Herman Santa Cruz drove with me in my little new car, which I have not yet mastered very well, as I led the official cars through the wood road to my cottage. I was apologizing for the holes left by the winter frost and the spring mud and to console me he remarked: "many roads in Chile are like this."

I had tacked the flags of our countries on my door and the President at once noticed his own flag. In spite of the fact that we are somewhat crowded in my little cottage when we are a large party and we cannot eat out-of-doors, everybody seemed relaxed and at home. I had a warm feeling about this party, as though it really had created a greater sense of friendliness between the representatives of our two countries.

* * *

After my guests had gone to visit their old friend, Mrs. Olin Dows, Miss Thompson and I drove down to New York City, arriving in time for me to attend a meeting of the United Nations Day Committee at 6:30.

After a hasty bite of dinner there was a Wiltwyck School Board meeting at 9 p.m., which, wonder of wonders, ended at 10:30. We are having our usual troubles, reaching the month of April without having raised enough money to cover our summer expenses for Wiltwyck.

A special meeting will be called to consider how this money may be raised. While we have put forward great efforts this past year and have greatly increased the list of subscribers, our budget has gone up but still falls short of increased costs. There is much work to be done for these little boys who still find trouble getting started in life and land in police courts and then in Wiltwyck.

* * *

On Tuesday I reached Lake Success in time to do a recording for the YMCA before our morning Human Rights Commission meeting opened.

We started our discussion on implementation of a Covenant of Human Rights, but after a number of preliminary speeches, which took us halfway through the afternoon, we found that the commission was anxious to have a little more time for preparation of this subject. Therefore, we postponed further consideration until next Monday when it was agreed we would take it up and conclude our work on it.

Then we went back to drafting Article 18, as, during my absence on Monday, Article 17 of the Covenant on Freedom of Information had been completed. Later in the afternoon, I looked in for a brief moment at two meetings that were going on—one in the Economic and Social Council and one in a large conference room.

* * *

Then I hastened back to New York City and a brief half hour at a brilliant and crowded party given on the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf-Astoria by Laurence Rutman, editor and general manager of United Feature Syndicate. Newspaper people from all over the country were there and I felt a little bewildered as I was engulfed by the crowd and realized that I would have difficulty in locating my host in that sea of faces.

I got home in time to change and eat dinner before going across the street to the Broadway Tabernacle for the annual banquet of the Lemuel Haynes Congregational church. There I was presented with an award, and an added thrill was hearing Carol Brice sing. She has a beautiful voice.

From there I went to Hunter College where they were holding a meeting in the interest of the activities carried on at the Inter-Faith Houses which are named after my mother-in-law. There I saw the most interesting and graceful dances presented by a young Indian student from Bombay. There ended a very full "My Day."

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL