JUNE 1, 1956
NEW YORK—Mrs. Joseph Lash and I got off for my childhood home area in Tivoli, N.Y., at 9:30 Wednesday morning. I had been asked to make a Memorial Day address there at the Little Red Church, which is the oldest one in that neighborhood.
People gathered from all around the countryside and, because the church is not very large, loud speakers were set up outside. In spite of a chilly day, people stood and sat around, listening to the whole service.
The Tivoli High School choral group sang and one young lady recited a poem very well. Then, after I spoke, we all went out to the veterans' corner of the old cemetery and there the Legion post, which was in charge of all the arrangements, had the chaplain read two prayers.
The traditional salute was fired, and two small boys played taps on their bugles, one echoing the other. It was a most charming effect and really very moving.
As soon as the service was over, we motored back to Hyde Park and were all prepared for the arrival of our luncheon guests—Justice Felix Frankfurter, Mr. Garson Kanin, the producer of "Anne Frank's Diary"; Dr. and Mrs. I. Lubin and former Treasury Secretary and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau Jr. All came for lunch at 1 o'clock.
My son, John, had to go to Washington to be at the Citizens for Eisenhower meeting, where the President spoke, so Anne and the two older girls, Nina and Sally, came to help with tea. And Franklin and Sue came up and joined Anne in helping me when the members of the Roosevelt Home Club came to my house for refreshments.
The ceremonies were simple and Justice Frankfurter made, I think, one of the best speeches I have heard anyone make. He did not try to be the historian, evaluating the Roosevelt years. He just told how he felt my husband's impact would be on the future and some little stories of his experiences with my husband, particularly one in Hyde Park which delighted everyone present.
The whole morning had been gray and, when we arrived for the ceremonies in the Rose Garden, dark clouds hung low and what threatened to become a downpour of rain began. But in a few minutes the clouds cleared away and the weather became delightful—warmer than it had been and almost sunny!
Somebody said it was "Roosevelt weather." And, on the whole, the old tradition of my husband being lucky with the weather held true for this memorial service.
But my husband's luck sometimes failed him, even in campaigns. However, he never seemed to mind bad weather so long as he could come in contact with the people. This he always enjoyed and from it he gained strength.