My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Thursday—One thing always amuses me very much! Whenever I leave a public building or a shop, in New York City, some one is sure to ask me: "Can I get your car?", and they always look somewhat surprised when I respond that I am either walking or taking a taxicab. Yet this is one of the things which gives me a little thrill because it proves that we are really a democracy. When I am in Washington or in other parts of the country, doing official things, a certain amount of government formality is attached to my existence. When I am entirely unofficial, living my own personal life, the fact that I can slip out of the government envelope and live just as I would live if I were back in my old existence, or if a few years were skipped, and I was again leading my own life, seems to me a pretty good symbol of the real democracy of this country.

After my broadcast last night, I dined at a restaurant with a friend, near the NBC studios before going to the theatre. I am having an orgy of theatre going this week for I have seen very few plays during the winter, and "You Can't Take it With You," gave us a most amusing evening. I wish I could feel that the author when he connected my name with Cleopatra's in the identification of a mask, was not drawing an invidious comparison, but I have never liked snakes so I am glad I was not Cleopatra!

For a second time, an appeal was made against the Dunnigan Bill. I am not familiar with this Bill, but it seems to me that the surest way to remove from the stage really undesirable plays, is for the public to refuse to go to see them. Censorship by law has always seemed to me too difficult and complicated where art of any kind is concerned.

We certainly are becoming more conscious in every state of the results of reckless driving! This morning I noticed in the newspapers an article noting the increase in accidents in one state and I think anything which tends to bring a greater sense of responsibility to individuals should be encouraged.

I have noticed, for instance, that Mr. Michael A. Connor, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in Connecticut, has inaugurated a new automobile marker system; aluminum tags of natural aluminum color, supposedly the most visible markers in darkness or light; with the numbers and letters in black; and a little removeable square bearing the last two numerals of the year in orange. Only these two numeral tags are to be supplied each year, and the owner becomes thus identified with continuing letters and number and he consequently is likely to avoid reckless exhibitions. I wonder if he has hit upon an idea which might be followed by other states with greater safety to all concerned?

TMsd 13 May 1937, AERP, FDRL