The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Monday—We attended Senator Borah's funeral this morning. Any funeral in the Capitol is dignified and impressive and, in addition, the flowers today were very beautiful. The services were simple, the words comforting. Finally, one of the chaplains recited Tennyson's "Crossing The Bar." One line in particular I always like, it is: "May there be no sadness of farewell when I embark."

There should be no sadness in this case, except for those who loved him and are left behind. Mr. Borah's long life has been a useful one in public service, and while those who love him cannot fail to be lonely, they are spared the one thing which I think brings bitter sorrow—the feeling that a life has passed without opportunity for fulfillment, or that the opportunity has not been used to the full.

Yesterday morning, quite a number of us attended the service at St. Thomas Church. I liked the thought expressed in the sermon which brought out that there are many kinds of poverty which are not of the purely material variety. It is hard to rise above starvation, in fact it is impossible, but one may have much of the world's goods and still be poor indeed in spirit.

In the afternoon, Mr. Julien Bryan showed us his movies taken in Warsaw, Poland, last September. First he shows Poland as he knew it during peace time, so the contrast makes a deep impression on his audience. I do not think anyone can see these pictures and fail to be impressed with what happens to any individual when we indulge in this madness called war.

Following this, Mr. Donald Slesinger and Miss Alice Kelleher of the American Film Center, brought three films. One done by the University of Minnesota students, states some of the youth problems of the day and is done as effectively as any professional film. The second is a Canadian film which tells the story of one boy and thus the story of the effort which Canada is making to help its unemployed youth. The third is a British film on nutrition. This is an educational film shown in order to educate the nation to food values and better spending. I doubt if it would be a successful film in this country, but something similar should be done.

In the evening we had the pleasure of entertaining at dinner Mr. and Mrs. Max Gordon, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Massey, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sherwood, Mr. Moss Hart, Miss Ruth Gordon, Miss Mary Howard, Mr. and Mrs. Harry M. Goetz, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Meakin and Mr. John Cromwell, all of whom are here for the initial performance tonight of the moving picture: "Abe Lincoln In Illinois." It was shown here last night after dinner, and I think everybody had the feeling which I had, that it was almost uncanny to see this picture in the hall through which Lincoln, himself, must so frequently have passed. In addition, Lincoln's words made a deep impression on me. Perhaps, more of us today should begin to stand for the things which we believe, even if it seems almost impossible that these beliefs would be accepted at the present time. Some one must lead crusades just as Lincoln did in order to start new trends of thought in the nation.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 23, 1940

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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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.