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

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—Yesterday seems a long way off. We finished the Human Rights Commission session on Friday night—but it was really Saturday morning, and it was quite the longest session I have ever sat through. There were nights in Paris in 1948 when a session lasted until quarter to three, and one, if I remember rightly, that lasted until 4 a.m. But 20 minutes before 6 a.m. is the latest I have ever come out of a United Nations meeting. The day had already long seeped in through the windows when we finally parted, after nine weeks of meeting steadily day after day.

It was interesting that up to the very last the Soviet delegates played true to form. I had circulated a memorandum for which I had the various government departments look up certain statistics which would enable me to answer accusations made against the United States by the USSR, the Ukraine and Poland. After carefully checking on how they had arrived at their statements, I gave the methods used and the answers. They took this as a very unfair way to treat them—saying they could answer everything, but I had not given them the time. Yet it was certainly open to them to circulate every delegate just as I had done. Since the explanation of their vote, however, was made by the delegates of the USSR, the Ukraine and Poland somewhere around 4:30 to 5 o'clock in the morning, the other delegates were so sleepy that I think they heard very little of what was said.

I was glad to have Mr. Morosov join with us in the kind things that were said of the officers and staff. He acted with very good grace and the commission closed on a very pleasant note. I think Dr. Charles Malik, and Monsieur Cassin and Mme. Mehta when they presided in Dr. Malik's place, did an excellent piece of work, and this session has accomplished much.

The taxicab driver who picked me up as we were walking away from the U.N. looked slightly surprised and asked if I wasn't out rather early. It was 6 a.m. when I walked into my hotel, and the elevator boy looked at me in such astonishment that I hurriedly explained how we had been working all night.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, when I found we were going to sit until late in the evening, I had sent a telegram saying I could not be present at the dedication of two new wings to the International Business Machine building here in Poughkeepsie. But when I got to my hotel at 6 a.m. I found a note saying everyone was much disappointed. I made up my mind not to go to bed at all, but to catch the 8:10 daylight train to Poughkeepsie. Miss Thompson and I took it, and when we arrived in Poughkeepsie I went straight to "The Homestead" to meet Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Watson and their friends. We all attended the dedication ceremonies, at which two plaques were given to Mr. Watson by the Chamber of Commerce in commemoration of the event. The workers in the plant gave him a silver trowel, with which he laid the corner stone. Mme. Novotna and James Melton sang, and I thought the program delightful.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 16, 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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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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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.