The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project is a university-chartered research center associated with the Department of History of The George Washington University

The George Washington University

The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

HYDE PARK, Sunday — It was with horror that I heard the news on Friday that Gandhi had been shot. Somehow, for this man of peace, who never hurt anyone, to come to a violent death at the hand of one of his countrymen seems almost impossible to believe. One realizes that the assassin was probably crazed. It is a hard blow to India, especially at the present time when she is beset by difficulties and trying to build an independent nation after so many years of subjection — years in which Gandhi played a great part to bring about her freedom in peaceful fashion.

There is no doubt that Gandhi had great spiritual qualities, and one can only hope that, even though he is no longer with his people, his influence will grow and help them through the years. This same influence had much of value to give to the rest of the world, and one hopes that the very violence of his death will turn people away from violence — which certainly brings none of us any good at the present time.

As Friday was my husband's birthday, former Secretary and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. came up to lay a wreath on the grave for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Foundation, of which Mr. Morgenthau is president. As usual, too, President Truman sent a wreath which was brought from West Point by General Taylor, who was accompanied by a group of officers and cadets. The ceremonies at the grave took only a few minutes, but the cadets had not seen the house before and, on the general's request, I took them over and showed them through. They then had a few minutes to look over the library, after which we drove to my cottage to get warm before their return trip to West Point.

I always associate my husband's birthday with the March of Dimes and the Infantile Paralysis Drive, so I appreciate particularly the service which the Roosevelt Home Club holds here on the evening before his birthday and at which the collection is given to meet the Hyde Park quota for the drive. My son and daughter-in-law, Elliott and Faye, Miss Grace Tully, Miss Thompson and I all went to this church service as well as to the short ceremony at the grave on Friday.

I am also deeply appreciative of the fact that so many people remember my husband's birthday and send me letters and contributions for the Infantile Paralysis fund. These contributions, of course, I send to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. My mail has reached such proportions that I am unable to answer and thank everyone, but I am nevertheless deeply touched.

I often think of Maeterlinck's Bluebird, for it is a happy thought that, as long as people are remembered, they live on.

E. R.