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

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HONOLULU, Sunday—If anyone ever tells you that the flight from Manila to San Francisco is really so short that you hardly know you have left before you arrive, don't believe him. I would agree, however, that I have never been on a more comfortable plane, and I especially enjoyed the benches that pull out for one's feet at night. Everything possible was done to make us comfortable and we had, on the whole, a very smooth trip.

As anyone knows who has flown with Pan American, the first stop is Guam. There the governor was kind enough to meet us. I also met some old friends whom I have known ever since the early days of my husband's Presidency, when the depression brought many letters to the White House from individuals throughout the United States. Through these letters I made many acquaintances in different parts of the country, and among them were Mrs. Rae Walker and her family. I have kept up with her ever since, and so I was glad to see her and her whole family in Guam.

After breakfast I drove around with the governor, and decided that living in Guam would not be disagreeable. The young people I met quite evidently agreed with that idea. Mrs. Walker's boy told me he "liked it fine." Their schools, too, must be fairly good, because apparently the graduates have no trouble going straight to college in the U.S.

Our next stop was Wake. This island has no natives living on it. As far as I could see, it is primarily important to the airlines, which have quite a number of people stationed there. No provision is made on this island for schools, and about 20 children here are in a school that the people themselves have to pay for and run. After the eighth grade, I suppose, they will have to send their children away. It does seem that the government has some responsibility in the matter, since they are American citizens and presumably the government is interested in having these civilian operations carried on. So far, however, the government apparently has not considered this question.

After Wake came Honolulu. Here Admiral and Mrs. Radford were kind enough to ask us to their guest house for a bath and breakfast, for which we were very grateful. Thirty-six hours seems a long time to wear the same clothes, and it was a great pleasure to get a bath. Several times on this trip, in fact, I have wondered what I really felt was the greatest luxury one could have. As I got into a modern bathtub with hot and cold water running quite normally out of the tap, I could not help thinking that perhaps this was it, and I shall try to appreciate it more thoroughly in the future. To my astonishment and horror at the early hour of 6:30 a.m. , I discovered that Governor and Mrs. Long were at the airport to meet me, as well as Admiral and Mrs. Radford and several other people who covered us with leis. This is a delightful way to be greeted, but I always feel a little sad that the flowers have to fade so soon.

Soon after I arrived here I was called on the telephone from New York, and I must admit when I heard them say that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to speak to me I was a little afraid something had gone wrong at home. But it was my youngest son, John, calling about a pending matter, and it was nice to hear his voice and to be told that everyone was well. I find that some of my family are going to be in San Francisco, where I am going to stop over for a very brief time.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Honolulu (Hawaii, United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 31, 1952

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
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.