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

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GENEVA, Tuesday—Last Sunday morning, two young girls, one an American student here at the university, and an English friend, came to breakfast with me as that was the only free time I seemed to have. They wanted to talk about politics as a career for women.

It is good to have our young women and the young women of Great Britain seriously thinking of politics as a responsibility that they should undertake. I hope a great many of them will take part in the political life of their respective countries to the extent that it is possible for them to do so.

Late in the morning, after my hard-worked delegation had even met at breakfast for consultation on various problems, we started by car to drive along the lake. We had to stop at the border and see the Swiss customs officer and a few yards further on the French customs officer, but since we had nothing to declare we sailed on and enjoyed the countryside. Unfortunately, it was cloudy, so the views were not as beautiful as they would have been had the day been really good.

We lunched at La Barre sur Le Lumina, a hotel right on the lake. The place has charming gardens, and we should have enjoyed having lunch or tea out-of-doors if the sun had been a little brighter. It cleared somewhat, however, while we were eating and we could see some blue sky before we left and the mountains across the lake.

It was our last meal all together. Heryel Plaine, my advisor from the Department of Justice on the Human Rights Commission, has already started for home. The rest of us will have to carry on this week without his advice.

On the way back we drove past a little old walled town down by the water. The houses are built right into the wall and two old Gothic arches guard the narrow entrances. Our way wound through some of the smaller roads and passed by some lovely old houses and farms.

At the door of our hotel on our return we found a large number of students celebrating in costume the 78th anniversary of a university society. They looked very gay. I am sure some of them were American boys, as I am told there are about 100 of our boys studying medicine here.

At 5 o'clock a car came for me and I drove back into the country to pay a short call on the Countess de Sarre, who was Queen Marie, the wife of former King Humbert of Italy. My husband used to talk about her as a little girl with a halo of fair hair surrounding a very sweet young face. She was just about the age of our own daughter and he lost his heart to her when he saw her at La Panne during the first World War when he visited the King and Queen of Belgium at the front.

As I talked with her Sunday I could not help thinking how much she had been through in her young life. How fortunate it is that we cannot look ahead, but have to meet things one by one as they confront us. It would be so much harder to gather up the courage to face a whole series of tragic events, whereas somehow the courage is always renewable when we meet the separate blows that fate inflicts.

The Countess is a charming and gentle person, and her boy, who was there, seemed to me to have a resemblance to his grandfather, the beloved King Albert of Belgium.

The Countess is troubled about refugee students who have artistic talent and she would like to find some way to help them.

In the evening we had dinner with Senator and Mrs. Lehman, just before they left for Paris and then home. We probably will reach the United States about the same time as we are flying straight home.

Thus ended my first really leisurely day in Europe.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Albert I, King of the Belgians, 1875-1934 [ index ]
         Belgian monarch
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST ]
  • Elisabeth, Queen, consort of Albert I, King of the Belgians, 1876-1965 [ index ]
         German-born Queen consort to Albert I, King of the Belgians
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST ]
  • Lehman, Edith Altschul, 1889-1976 [ index ]
         American social worker and philanthropist; spouse of Herbert Lehman
  • Lehman, Herbert H. (Herbert Henry), 1878-1963 [ index ]
         American politician; US senator from New York; Governor of New York
         [ ERPP bio | LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | US Nat. Archives | ANB ]
  • Maria José, Queen, consort of Humbert II, King of Italy, 1906-2001 [ index ]
         Belgian-born Italian Queen consort
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • Plaine, Herzel H. E. [ index ]
         American lawyer; US Dept of Justice officer who provided legal advice to UN
  • Savoia, Vittorio Emanuele di 1937- [ index ]
         Italian Prince of Naples
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • Umberto II, King of Italy, 1904-1983 [ index ]
         Last king of Italy
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST ]
  • Geneva (Switzerland) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 16, 1951

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)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
    [ ISNI ]
  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ISNI ]
  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]

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.