My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Helm, Mrs. Scheider and I went to a very beautiful funeral service for Mr. Charles Hamlin. St. John's Church was crowded with his friends and associates. He and Mrs. Hamlin lived in Washington for many years and it was easy to see how many people loved them.

With all the affection one may have, however, there is nothing one can do for people when they go through the great sorrows of life. Each human soul faces its own great tests alone. All that those around may do is to try to create an atmosphere of sympathetic understanding.

Our old friend, Bishop Atwood, helped conduct the service and, as I looked at his kindly face, I thought of how many times he must have stood by friends, acquaintances and even strangers, during dark hours. I wondered if the knowledge of human beings obtained at such times ever helps in solving a personal problem or gives one more courage to endure personal sorrows.

In the afternoon, I spent a short time at the Works Progress Administration office. Mrs. Ellen Woodward showed me a collection of photographs which cover many of the women's and professional projects throughout the country. The workers on the museum project in Baltimore, Maryland, had a collection of historic dolls on exhibition. They should be most helpful to the public schools, not only in illustrating periods of history, but in any dramatic production which the pupils may present.

Mrs. Scheider and I took the midnight train to New York City and, for some reason, the engineer of the train must have come to a very sudden stop during the night. I woke to find my shoes reposing on my chest, instead of the shelf at the foot of my berth where I had put them. My knitting bag also had landed on me with considerable force, for I had put a book inside it. However, nothing seemed to be wrong and we reached New York City this morning to be greeted by sunshine and cool breezes.

Again we are adjusting to standard time in Washington and daylight-saving time in New York. It is delightful when you are going to Washington, for you always seem to save time, but coming this way takes five hours instead of four if you are traveling by train.

According to my engagement book, I had the morning free. I had just finished a number of telephone conversations and settled down to clear out my brief case, when a telephone message informed me that I was almost an hour late for an appointment at the American Foundation for the Blind, where I was to read the first chapter of "This Is My Story" to be recorded in a talking book.

Luckily, their office is nearby, so I put my things on and dashed over and apologized profusely for having entered all this morning's engagements for tomorrow instead of for today. I was so apologetic I did everything they asked me to do, until I was faced with the newsreel cameras. I struggled then to be permitted just to act and not to read. Finally, my sense of discomfort at having kept everybody waiting so long, made me consent to read a few sentences, in spite of the fact that the last time I heard myself on a newsreel it was so terrible I decided never again to open my mouth in front of one of those machines!


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

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 28, 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
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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.