My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK—A headline in one of New York's newspapers, above a story about our reply to Soviet Premier Nikolai A. Bulganin's letter on disarmament, carried a sub-heading that read: "But Dulles Remains Opposed to Liberalized Approach to Moscow's Proposals."

I find it difficult to believe that the highly intelligent Secretary of State John Foster Dulles does not grasp the fact that it is impossible to remain glued to any one approach to a problem if you are to negotiate.

Since it is obvious that unless we are foolhardy enough to believe that war is an impossibility, we must negotiate. And if we must negotiate, then it seems to me that our negotiators, among whom Secretary Dulles is the chief one, should recognize the fact that we must be flexible.

We must accept new ideas and produce new ideas or how are we going to reach any solutions of the problems before us?

* * *

I had the great pleasure of having Mr. and Mrs. Robert Oppenheimer bring the great Danish scientist, Niels Bohr, and his wife to lunch with me.

No one can meet this quietly persistent man (Mr. Bohr), I think, without a feeling of respect and affectionate admiration. He faces our world today with quiet optimism, and he has a most flexible and stimulating approach to problems which must concern every intelligent citizen of the United States and the world at the present time.

* * *

I recently spent an evening at the New York City Center, enjoying the ballet, "Swan Lake," but I would like to see all rather than just a part of it, as I did that night.

To me, the most delightful part was "Afternoon of a Faun." Edward Villehella and Allegra Kent danced beautifully, full of charm and grace.

The "Square Dance" and "Western Symphony" I found a little difficult to accept. I understand Mr. Balanchine's idea was "to mount a formal ballet which would derive its flavor from the West but which would move always within the framework of the classic school." Perhaps it did not appeal to me so much because I have seen the people themselves dancing these folk dances and like them better in their natural environment than in the ballet form.

I probably have no right to make this criticism, however, because I do not know enough about what obviously was an experiment in music and in ballet. I also find that I must see something of this kind more than once before I really understand its spirit, and this was the first time I had seen this particular form.

I enjoyed the evening very much, however, and I hope we are sending the New York City Ballet to the Belgian World's Fair next spring.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL