My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—Thursday evening I went to Washington, where the heat was even greater than what I had left in New York. I nevertheless had a pleasant time that evening at Mrs. May Craig's house with some of my old newspaper women friends. I met some of the new ones and also Mr. and Mrs. Rankin, just back from Formosa. Talk with newspaper women is always interesting, for they are surely a well-informed and alert group.

My real work began on Friday morning. I barely had time to say good morning to my hostess, Mrs. Adolph Miller, because at a quarter before nine I started off to meet with the personnel of the technical assistance program. At least one could be cool in the air-conditioned auditoriums and government buildings. I was told that some of the people working in the temporary buildings, which have no air-conditioning, had to be excused to go home because even at night the buildings did not cool off and by noon were unbearable.

I spent an hour and a half in the State Department during the morning discussing the work of the Human Rights Commission, both past and future, and then I went over to talk to the President and report to him.

I cannot help thinking that it must be a most frustrating period for a President when he has announced that he will not be a candidate. His term is drawing to a close, he still carries the responsibility of trying to have legislation passed which is beneficial to the country—but Congress feels there is very little reason any longer to do anything he wishes. It just goes gaily off on a partisan spree—or perhaps it would be fairer to say on a personal-interest spree—and does things that make no sense at all.

In the afternoon, at the President's request, I went to see General Bedell Smith and his men working in Central Intelligence. Feeling that I could not possibly know anything they did not know already, I suggested that they ask me questions and in that way perhaps find something that I could contribute. We spent an hour and a half together and I had an opportunity to learn some things. I only hope that my impressions of India and Pakistan were of some value to them.

In the evening I went to the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, where I spoke to students in the Navy Nursing Corps on the changes taking place for the women of India and Pakistan. A number of Public Health and Army people were there as well, and I enjoyed my evening very much. One doctor at the Naval Hospital was born in Bombay and speaks the particular dialect of that region. He had just returned from a meeting of the World Health Organization in Geneva and told me of working there with Miss Fannie Hurst and of her surprise when he greeted some Indians in their own language.

Saturday morning early I came back to New York and caught a noon train to Hyde Park in time to attend the christening in Hyde Park Church of Nancy, my eighteenth grandchild, the daughter of Franklin, Junior, and Sue.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL