My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—When I arrived at Mexico City on Wednesday to make two speeches for Youth Aliyah, I had no idea what would await me at the airport. Our Ambassador and Mrs. Hill had been kind enough to ask me to stay the two nights I would be in Mexico with them, and I thought possibly a representative from the embassy and someone from the Youth Aliyah organization would meet me.

Apparently, however, the memory of my husband's visit to Monterrey way back in the early Forties—when President Comacho met him and then returned his visit in Corpus Christi the next day—was still green in the hearts of the Mexican people, and I was met with a warmth and kindness which were somewhat overwhelming. We may think we can produce batteries of camera men when we wish to do so here, but they do quite as well in Mexico City! I was grateful indeed to be met by Ambassador and Mrs. Hill, as well as a representative from the Mexican foreign office and innumerable other kindly people, some of whom were to guide my every step during the rest of that day and the one following.

For some reason I had taken for granted that Canada and Mexico, being our close neighbors, required no passports. When our ambassador asked me for mine, my heart sank; I had come without it. At once the Mexican representatives said they would issue a special visitor's courtesy card—but I did feel guilty, for one should not take the dismissal of these formalities for granted.

The schedule of activities drawn up for me allowed time to unpack. Then the committee of Youth Aliyah called and took me to a press conference which was, from my point of view, of monumental proportions. For an hour I answered questions which I am afraid were not all on Youth Aliyah. These gentlemen and ladies of the press wanted to know many things about the U. S. and Mexico—past, present and future. Of course they are near enough to be interested in U. S. politics; and Mr. Rockefeller has awakened all Latin Americans to an interest in our future elections! I know nothing about the future and nothing about the Republicans' future plans, but I hope I managed to slide out gracefully without saying anything damaging to anyone.

After the press conference we went back for luncheon at the embassy, where I enjoyed meeting some very old friends, Mr. and Mrs. George Messershmit, who now live in Mexico. Mexico City seems to be a favorite vacation spot, too, for Americans, and I think Ambassador and Mrs. Hill have as busy a social schedule as anyone carries in any of our embassies. This one has become a very important embassy, with more than 500 people on the staff. I understand, though, that the Soviet Union has a few more on their military staff than we do!

At three there was a tea at the residence of the Minister from Israel, and later a visit to the wife of the outgoing Mexican President. Back at the embassy I was able to sleep for two hours. Finally, at the late hour of a quarter to nine, we all went to the banquet at the Jewish Sport Center given by the Youth Aliyah Committee, after which I gave my first scheduled talk on Youth Aliyah.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL