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

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NEW YORK, Sunday—Since my schedule forces me so often to do things which must seem rude, I have decided by way of explanation to describe a typical day as I live it just at present.

I listen to the seven o'clock news and get up as I turn the radio off at 7:05. I have a small boy staying with me, and I call him and start him getting dressed. Then I dress, and at eight we eat breakfast together. After that I give the orders in the house, telephone the market, and see my small boy off to school. I myself leave around 8:45.

Nine o'clock is the hour for our delegation meeting on the mezzanine at the Hotel Pennsylvania. As soon after 10 o'clock as I can get away, I dash to my office in the hotel and gather up the necessary papers which have come in since the day before. Then we take the 45-minute drive to Lake Success.

On Friday there was a subcommittee meeting, and we sat in the Security Council room. Our chairman, Mr. Watt of Australia, said he hoped the atmosphere of the room would not have a bad effect upon us! After the election of officers, we began work on the Secretary General's report transferring UNRRA welfare activities to the U.N.. The rest of the morning was spent in general discussion, and we decided to request the secretariat to draw up a resolution so that our next meeting could deal with a concrete document.

We were dismissed at 1:30 and I went in search of two ladies whom I had invited to tea, first on Thursday and then on Friday. When I discovered late Thursday evening that I would have to spend the whole of Friday afternoon at Lake Success, I left a message asking if they would like to come out to lunch with me in the cafeteria. That is not the best place for a lunch party, nor for a quiet conversation; but, I felt, if it was important enough for them to take the trip, I ought to offer them some substitute for two invitations which I had been obliged to cancel! The ladies were nowhere to be found, so, with one of my advisers, I ate a hurried lunch. Then I went into the lounge, where I signed mail which I had brought out with me and read a number of letters. In between times, I shook hands with a few people and signed a number of autographs!

At 2:30, the small drafting committee on which I serve, and which had been appointed by Committee No. 3, met and unanimously agreed on the wording of an amendment. It was a confused afternoon. We had simultaneous translation, which is always a great help; nevertheless I found myself once or twice slowing up the discussion to clarify some point on which I felt uncertain. One of my advisers has been so closely connected with the drafting of the constitution for the International Refugee Organization, and knows its history so well, that I think he finds me at times slow in understanding the full significance of points which seem to him crystal clear.

I was really glad when the session ended at a little after six. I was back in my apartment at 7:05, in time to say goodnight to my small boy and hear his prayers before sitting down to dinner. At nine, my advisers appeared with representatives from four delegations and we sat down to talk over again the problems of our committee!

Days like this make any outside engagements perfectly impossible, but it is hard to explain to one's friends why one has to give up all of the usual amenities of life!

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Watt, Alan Stewart, Sir, 1901- [ index ]
         Australian diplomat; member of Commonwealth Public Service in Dept. of External Affairs; participated at UN Conference on International Organization
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 25, 1946

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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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.