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


WASHINGTON, Sunday—On Friday night in Boston I spoke at Wellesley College at an international seminar. Saturday morning I drove in to catch an early morning plane to Washington, D.C.

It was sad to find only Mrs. Adolph Miller waiting to greet me in the ever hospitable house to which I have come so often. As one grows older one realizes that parting with old friends is inevitable. But it does not make it any the less sad to find empty places and know that you will never again here feel the warmth of welcome, the intellectual give and take, and the wise counsel which in the case of Adolph Miller one could always count on. I am always happy to be with Mary Miller because there are ties of old associations which can never be replaced and which are a very deep bond as long as one's earthly life endures.

The conference of the American Association for the United Nations began with a meeting of the resolutions committee on Saturday. I spent the afternoon with them, came home to change and went to an early dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Ives in Alexandria, where I was to speak at a meeting in the evening.

Sunday morning was free until I went to lunch with my fellow columnist and cousin, Joseph Alsop. He is a member of the younger generation whom I really enjoy and for whose work I have a real respect, as also for the work of his brother, Stewart. They are good at getting news and at interpreting it. They have traveled to many parts of the world in search of understanding and, I think, have seen with penetrating eyes.

Sunday afternoon was spent again with the resolutions committee, and tonight the first real meeting of the conference will be hearing some important administrative speakers.

Washington seems to me to have a new atmosphere. Perhaps I just imagine it, but I think there is a more military imprint on the landscape as a whole.

I have just given a careful reading to the speech made recently by Mrs. Eugene Meyer at the Atlantic City annual convention of the American Association of School Administrators. Mrs. Meyer warned against the harmful effects of Congressional committee investigations of schools and colleges, and I find her speech a most courageous and refreshing expression of individual opinion. Mrs. Meyer knows whereof she speaks. She goes to many hearings and watches them, and what she reports is from the point of view of the eyewitness as well as from the thoughtful citizen. She is anxious, of course, to guard us against the rise of Communism in our country. But she is aware of the fact that we may defeat our objectives by the use of the wrong procedure and the wrong weapons.

I have heard it said that only the Congressional committees can actually do this work of ferreting out suspected Communists because the FBI does not have the necessary powers. I would think it wise for Congress to investigate this aspect and see if it would be possible to give the FBI the powers necessary to apprehend anyone against whom they had sufficient evidence to bring into court for trial.

The fact that a college professor was once in his younger days fooled for a short time into being a Communist does not deeply impress me. What I want to know is what his life has been since, and what the value of his work has been in the years since he grew up and left the Communist party. That is what he should be judged by.

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 2, 1953

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.