My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, April 6—We flew down to Langley Field near Newport News in three-quarters of an hour on Friday afternoon. A friend of mine went with me and I took my daughter's two children without a nurse which they thought was a grand treat. I found it was the first time they had really flown so they were very much thrilled. We had a few bumps to give them some excitment, but on the whole it was a very quiet trip.

On arrival we went to visit Swanton, a community in which some fifty houses are already occupied, built for the negro workmen in the Newport News Shipbuilding Corporation. Individuality is allowed in the painting, and it really makes a great variety although the houses are standardized so that they may be built more cheaply. It has been worked out so as to allow the men to work at given wages on their houses and on clearing the land and this labor goes towards the down payments. The houses are comfortable and well built with three bed rooms, a kitchen, living room, bathroom, hot water, electric light and city water. The rent per month is $16.40 which includes amortization, insurance, etc. This is all done by private corporation showing what good business management can do with goodwill and real interest in their employees to back them up.

On Saturday morning we were ready to leave for the Ship Yard at nine fifteen. I was presented with a most beautiful bouquet of American Beauty roses and Sistie with an old fashioned bouquet which pleased her so much she could hardly stand still. We had quite a little wait before the moment came for smashing the bottle and christening the ship, and I must admit that I was a bit nervous for fear the bottle would not break. However it smashed successfully, and fortunately before the ship actually slid down the ways, I remembered to say: "I christen thee the Yorktown."

It was a very impressive sight to see one of those big ships slide out, and interesting from the time the men began to knock out the supports from underneath, till she was safely in the water.

We had a smooth trip back and this morning as my grandchildren were leaving, they insisted on a swim before breakfast. I have had a ride and have just seen them off to New York very regretfully for school begins tomorrow.

E.R.
TMsd 5 April 1936, AERP, FDRL