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

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Burbank, California, Thursday—As I was about to leave for the noon plane in New York yesterday, the telephone rang and I was told it was very doubtful that I could reach Chicago. The weather conditions were so uncertain and it was so difficult to get a seat on a plane going WEst on another line, that even Mr. C. R. Smith, President of American Airlines, found it hard to reroute me in a satisfactory manner. There was nothing to do but wait while the weather and kindly airline officials disposed of my fate.

My thoughts had to be controlled, or I would be saying rude things to myself for having felt so secure in man-made plans that I gave my two bags to Miss Thompson to take on the train. She reached Chicago last night, where I had expected to meet her. Instead, I was crossing the Continent by another route. One lesson learned—never separate yourself from your luggage on a journey just because you are too lazy to carry it.

Still in New York at noon, I went to see my mother-in-law who is up at last after her cold. The doctor was there telling her that she must not tire herself and she said something I hope all of us can say at her age. "Why, I do nothing but give up things I want to do!" she exclaimed, and looked at him very solemnly. Let us hope we all keep that amount of enthusiasm for doing things, it gives zest to life.

Back to my apartment after that visit, I waited, read a little, and pondered on the advisability of telegrams to inform my family of changed plans, but they seemed subject to more changes and so I decided to wait. Finally, Mr. C. R. Smith appeared. We drove out to the airport and I had a faint hope that I would be able to go to Seattle via Chicago, but it was decided that I had better go by way of Los Angeles. I called the White House and spoke to the President and he had a great deal of amusement out of the that fact before long I would be going back through Washington, which I had left yesterday afternoon. Now I am on my way, but I shall not reach Seattle as early as I hoped. Winter is still with us, in spite of the month and the date, and so one should not expect to carry out one's plans just as they were made.

How foolish it is for us to grumble at the little adjustments we have to make, when one look at the newspapers will make us realize what major adjustments people all over the world are making. That item about the 1600 Polish refugees who have been wandering from country to country and are now finally interned in Palestine, seems to me one of the saddest of tales. The only thing that lightens the picture is the other news item, that Santo Domingo may consider taking in some of these homeless people who must find shelter somewhere. A story was told to me today of a man who was trying to become an American citizen but who cannot state his present nationality, for he was born in a country which has changed hands in the past few years and he is no longer a citizen of either of the nations. His wife and child are citizens of the United States and he is temporarily a "man without a country."



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Burbank (Calif., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 29, 1940

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
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.