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

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WASHINGTON, Monday—After I reached Washington yesterday afternoon, I spent a quiet hour eating a rather frugal supper of iced tea and fruit on the south porch, and thought of people one remembers when one sits alone in this house or looks out at the view.

The site for this city was chosen by George Washington. In reading Carl Sandburg's column in the Galesburg Post today, I find he quotes two letters of the first President which should be read today because the principles which he laid down for peace in his time were as global as ours have to be now. He knew as well as we do that all mankind has to be free if peace is to exist.

Washington's Monument points to the sky. It is the first thing you notice from the south porch, which is as it should be, for he was the first man to lay a course for this country to follow. By and large, we haven't deviated so far from the principles he laid down.

Next you look at Jefferson's Memorial and cast your eyes back to two little mounds on the White House grounds, which Jefferson built because rolling country to him made a more charming landscape than a flat lawn. We probably owe to him some of the beautiful trees which shade the lawn. We certainly are indebted to him for many of the ideas which kept Washington's original course for this nation towards a real democracy.

Finally, though you cannot see the Lincoln Memorial, you are always conscious of Lincoln's presence and of the hard years of the War between the states. He must have watched the other side of the Potomac River so often and wondered whether the boys in gray would someday stand there, whether the day would ever come when we would look into a man's face and think only of the brotherhood of man and not of the division of race or color.

All of these men thought in terms which embraced not only their own country, but the world at large. It is not astounding then, that the leaders of today think in global terms. Madame Chiang says we must have "cooperation and humility," and perhaps that is the best prescription of moving forward in the future. We shall certainly need humility to arrive at any kind of cooperation.

The radio and newspapers seem to be preparing us for action in the European theatre of war, as well as in the Pacific. Like millions of other women throughout the country, I turn on my radio and open my paper with a certain amount of dread every day, and yet I know that action is the only way to bring our present difficult and horrible situation to an end. The United Nations cannot begin to build for a better world until we control the world which we have at present around us.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 8, 1943

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.

XML master last modified on June 9, 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.