My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

WASHINGTON, Monday—I arrived in Washington last evening about 7:30, to find that the President was able to stay on the "Potomac" until this morning. I spent the evening straightening out the various things which had accumulated on my desk. Today is comparatively free. Breakfast on the porch was really delightful and leisurely.

I was interested to see that Miss Gizelle Shaw of Buenos Aires, speaking to the Eastern Regional Conference of the National Woman's Party, remarked that South America was not flattered to have Mr. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., as an envoy from this country.

I think Miss Shaw must have made this statement under a misapprehension, for Mr. Fairbanks went only as an ambassador of goodwill to study the particular subject of the movie industry as it affects our relationship with our South American neighbors. He is extremely well fitted to make this study and, on returning, to put his findings before his own industry.

Miss Shaw makes the suggestion that South America would have been more flattered had we sent a scientist or an educator. I think again, she perhaps does not quite know the scope of the program being carried out under the Department of State and Mr. Nelson Rockefeller.

In some cases one wonders if, perhaps, too many people in different fields of endeavor are not flooding the South American countries today in their search for knowledge and their desire to bring a better understanding to this country of our neighbors to the south.

I was particularly impressed in St. Paul, Minn., by the panel on hemisphere defense conducted under Miss Josephine Schain's leadership. Madame Graciela Mandujano, whom the Business and Professional Women's clubs are sponsoring on a lecture trip in the United States, did a magnificent job, both as a member of the panel and as a speaker at the luncheon. Her approach was so charming and simple that everyone was interested in her presentation of rural conditions in Chile, and I was really thrilled to see the interest of the women in St. Paul in all she had to tell them.

We have some young guests in the house, for three of the Hopkins children are here just now. It is nice to know that the weather is not going to make life out of doors impossible for them.

Yesterday I finished a little book of stories about "Mr. Chips" that Mr. James Hilton gave me. He is the hero of the book published in this country called: "Good Bye Mr. Chips" by James Hilton. This book I just read has never been published here, but I think it should be, for there are many things in Mr. Chips' philosophy which would be of value, not only to schoolmasters, but to us all. One quotation we can remember with profit:

"One of the lovely joys of growing old was to add to this list of trivial things one didn't care about, so one had more time to care about the things that are not trivial."