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

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NEW YORK—I read of Governor Nelson Rockefeller's inauguration with interest and admired his fine speech.

No one could quarrel with the sentiments expressed by the new Governor. The point, of course, is how nearly he will be able to fulfill the standards set in his speech. Much will depend on the men he has named to office and on his ability to keep them up to the standards which he proclaims as his own. The people of the state will watch with interest, for we have become skeptical of political machines and some of us feel that it makes little difference whether a Governor is a Democrat or a Republican unless he can achieve control of the machine. Machinery is necessary for the functioning of political parties, but the control must lie with the Governor and not with the bosses. The latter may control their lieutenants, but never the Governor.

With the overthrow of President Batista, another dictatorship in a South American country toppled at the end of the week. It now remains to be seen whether the rebels under Fidel Castro can really provide better government than that of the President who has fled. Removing one government and putting in another is not in itself sufficient. One really has to do something to improve conditions for the people, and one must try to make the government more truly responsive to the people's needs. The future alone can give this answer in Cuba.

On New Year's eve I went with some friends to see "Twelfth Night" as produced by the Old Vic, and it was indeed a joy. To act Shakespeare well, I think, you must have a group of unusually intelligent and attractive people, and the Old Vic cast fulfills that requirement. Although I have not met them off stage, a friend of mine who had the pleasure of meeting them personally in Dallas said they were the most charming and delightful group of actors and actresses he had met in a long time. I am sure that this is one of the factors contributing to their delightful performances of Shakespeare's plays. The role of Viola was charmingly portrayed by Barbara Jefford, and of course one cannot help but enjoy the roles of Sir Toby and Sir Andrew.

On December 31 General George C. Marshall celebrated his 78th birthday, and everyone who remembers his service in World War II and then as Secretary of State will wish for the general all good things with a sense of satisfaction in his high accomplishments for his country. He has served his country well and all its citizens who understand his service must be grateful to him.

With the end of the strike on Eastern Airlines, we seem little by little to be returning to normal in our various activities. I am sure all of us will be glad of a little less excitement in the next few months.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 5, 1959

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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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.