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

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WASHINGTON, Thursday—I walked into the White House from the hairdressers a few minutes ago and noticed a group of bags in the Lincoln Room. My curiosity got the better of me and I looked further. Lo and behold, there was our son Elliott and a civilian friend, who had come with him from Africa.

I had been asking the President every day if there had been any news of when Elliott might turn up. Not later than last night, my husband assured me he had heard nothing, so this was a very joyous surprise. My only regret is that Elliott's wife isn't here and will have to fly up from Texas. Apparently even the President of the United States isn't told these military secrets beforehand!

I am afraid that Elliott is in for a spell in the hospital, because he seems to have picked up some sort of germ. But, let's hope it won't last long. It is wonderful to have him home after the long months of anxiety without news.

The meeting last night of the Pan-American Child Congress here in the White House, was extremely interesting. I was very proud of Miss Katharine Lenroot and Mr. Adolph Berle, Assistant Secretary of State, for the fluent way in which they gave their speeches in Spanish. I was the only person who had to say a few words in the English language. I felt much ashamed of myself and hope that someday I shall find an opportunity to master at least enough Spanish to say the few sentences necessary for welcoming a group.

Our hearts have been heavy ever since we heard of the final surrender in the Philippines. These men have made such magnificent history, that one can only feel that Secretary of State Hull has well expressed it in saying the present reverses are a prelude to future victory. However that does not make anyone feel happier about the men, nurses and few civilians; all now prisoners.

Above everything else, I am proud of General Wainwright's decision to stay with his men and share their fate. I know what every member of a family, who has anyone in this area is going through—uncertainty, apprehension and sorrow. We can only pray together and hope that our mounting strength will soon bring us the victory which will put an end to all this suffering.

I still hear every now and then that some people are asking: "Why do we have to fight in all parts of the world? Why can we not stay here and defend our own shores?" I should like to have an opportunity to ask the people who murmur thus, how they would like to have our shores turned into a Corregidor?



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 8, 1942

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 June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.