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


NEW YORK, Monday—I was astounded to read an article in the New York Times on Sunday morning, announcing that letters written by my husband and belonging to my son, Elliott, and to me, had been placed with the Rosenbach Company for sale.

Nothing could be more untrue.

The letters were placed with the book dealers for cataloguing and evaluation for insurance and tax purposes for the future. Neither my son nor myself have the slightest intention of selling any of them. How this story got started is beyond me.

The gentleman who has really handled the papers is in Europe and evidently some of the members of the firm are not familiar with what arrangements were made. I cannot strongly enough emphasize that these are personal letters, many of which were used in the volumes of letters edited by my son, but none of which are for sale. I was called on Saturday night by two of the news services and several newspapers and made this statement which my son corroborated.

On Saturday, I attended the commencement exercises at Bard College, which is some 20 miles north of Hyde Park. Roy Edward Larson, chairman of the National Citizens Committee for the Public Schools, gave a most interesting talk to the graduates. He explained to them why it is that our public schools are of deep concern to each and everyone of us, and how the citizens produced by these schools may affect the future of the nation. The address given by President James H. Case Jr. was brief and to the point. He very frankly told the students they could do more harm than any generation in the past, and perhaps more good.

Honorary degrees were given to Mr. Larson and to the Reverend McCahan of Red Hook, New York, who, in spite of being handicapped, has been a force for good in his community. Senator William Benton of Connecticut was honored for his service to his country. David Dubinsky received an honorary degree for what he has accomplished in the field of labor organization, and Albert Spaulding was honored for his many years of entertainment with his violin and who also served his country in World Wars I and II in the Intelligence Division. I was particularly fortunate to receive an honorary degree on the same occasion that two of my Hyde Park neighbors, Theodore Lannet Mack and Thomas Morgan, were graduated.

Fortunately, the day was beautiful and the ceremonies were held out-of-doors under the fine old trees and the cool day made it possible for everyone, even those in caps and gowns, to feel comfortable.

We drove home after the ceremonies and had a short visit from an Austrian inventor and some young friends in the diplomatic service who had just returned with their two children from Japan. After a short visit with friends and relatives, the latter will sail for Rangoon. The two children are charming and seem none the worse for vagabonding around the world. I often marvel that children, who learn to talk while traveling from one foreign country to another, ever say anything understandable to their elders!

I awake in my porch-bedroom in the country every morning feeling grateful for the beauties of nature. I have never seen the trees more luxurious than they are this summer. This is true except for my birches, which are being attacked by a pest. My elms so far have been spared and the tulip poplars near our house grow year by year more stately and luxuriant. How I love the slow progress of spring into summer in this part of the world!

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 19, 1951

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

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate 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.