My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Friday—The most beautiful Bermuda lilies were presented to me yesterday afternoon with an invitation to accompany the garden clubs of America to Bermuda when they visit it this spring. I would love to go, but there are many other things which I would love to do, and promised to do, so I have been obliged to call a halt on undertaking any new things this spring.

Following the presentation of the lilies by Mrs. Harry Stack, Jr., and her small daughter, I received a series of people. First came a group of railway magazine editors and their wives. Then a number of individuals who were in Washington for one reason or another. One of them presented me with a most interesting memorandum on a homestead project planned and carried out in Rockland County, New York, by Mr. Ralph Borsodi with the help of a group of people, amongst them Chauncey Stillman. It is a small beginning but they have been so successful that they are increasing their acreage and starting a new homestead. I hope very much that I can go to see it this summer.

Then came a group of young Democrats from Maryland, and then the National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, who always meet here before the Daughters of the American Revolution hold their meeting, for most of them belong to that organization as well.

In the evening I went to the American University to speak at a meeting held in honor of the members of the Honor Society, which corresponds for them to Phi Beta Kappa. The audience was composed largely of young people and, after we had finished in the auditorium, we went over to a very charming living room in the girls' dormitory where refreshments were served and I had an opportunity to talk to some of the faculty and students. One of the girls asked me if I thought there was a real opportunity today to educate oneself for Government service.

I do feel there is a constantly increasing interest in public work among young people and they are willing to prepare themselves for the type of work which they want to do. This should increase the efficiency in Civil Service and should make it possible to find very much better people for the administrative and executive jobs in the executive branches of the Government. I still feel, however, that no one who depends upon elections or partisan appointments should make Government service the only method of earning a living. One must feel free to do what one thinks is right in any situation, and if one is entirely dependent on a Government job for bread and butter, the temptation to be swayed by those who have it in their power to give or take away that job, is difficult at times to resist.

The weather is glorious and I resented deeply having to spend the morning doing something which is a great convenience, and ultimately a great time-saver, but which can play havoc with a whole morning and be as uncomfortable as any occupation I know. In other words, I had a permanent wave, badly named, for, of course, it is only a temporary one!


(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 16, 1938

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.