My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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MINNEAPOLIS—We reached Chicago rather late yesterday afternoon and the people who met us were rather agitated because we had to drive out to Oak Park for my lecture and I would be rather hurried. They seemed very much relieved when I decided not to have any dinner until after I had spoken. I don't know whether they felt that I would speak better without food or whether they didn't think I could be ready in an hour. As a matter of fact we sat peacefully waiting to be called for with a good half hour to spare!

One moment on the platform was a bit appalling. I had been told that my subject was to be "Peace" and suddenly I heard the chairman announcing: "Mrs. Roosevelt will speak on A Citizen responsibility to His Community." I had no notes but I went right on and said a little prayer that I would get through without them!

Oak Park is very proud of being the largest village in the United States, having some sixty-four thousand inhabitants and they refuse to consider themselves a part of Chicago. On our return to the hotel a woman came up to me and said: "There is a Golden Wedding celebration going on, my aunt and uncle would be so happy if you would look in on them." I went and found the dearest old couple celebrating and was very happy to have just a few words with them.

Here in Minneapolis they seem to have already had some real winter for a film of ice has already formed on the River and we saw many patches of snow as we came into the station. I think the drive along the River is one of the loveliest that I know in any city.

We have no speech until eight-thirty tonight so we thought we would have a very peaceful day but after ten minutes in the hotel Nicollet we decided we would have to ask them not to ring us on the telephone and not to have any one come to the door, for three quarters of an hour or we would never get our clothes changed and have a chance to eat our breakfast. As it was the press arrived while breakfast was still on the table. Then some old Democratic friends whom we were very glad to see, then the brother of a very delightful gentleman in Washington, then the representatives of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union who wanted me to sew the first label in a coat as I did some years ago in New York City. Then it was twelve-thirty and a friend I had promised to lunch with was here to take me out!

Tomorrow is Armstice Day and I have been sent a poem by Richard Galliene called: "The Illusion of War," which expresses well something we should all remember on this day and so I pass on to you the first verse:

I do abhor;
And yet how sweet
The sound along the marching street
Of drum and fife, and I forget
Broken old mothers, and the whole
Dark butchering without a soul."
TMsd 10 November 1936, AERP, FDRL