My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.—I think I found a new and very good field for women to work in yesterday! Miss Mary Mowbray Clarke who is a landscape consultant to Country Engineer of Rockland County, came in to see me about the park which they have built and to ask that my husband and I come is possible to the opening in the autumn. I was deeply interested to hear what she was doing to preserve the trees and to beautify the roadsides through the county. In other words doing for county planning what a woman would do her own home, and I am sure that her work is going to be of value in the future.

As I drove myself to Hyde Park yesterday, it occurred to me that it would be a splendid thing if the roadside sign people would employ women landscape consultants to help them to design and place their roadside advertising. I believe it could be done more effectively and enhance the beauty and interest of the roads instead of frequently hiding a delightful bit of scenery or shutting off a view around a curve which adds to the hazards of the road. I hope that this idea of mine may be tried out by some of the women who have been trained along this line and have imagination for it would be a challenge to their capacity both for artistic work and for publicity effects!

I saw "Murder in the Cathedral," Friday night which is a WPA play now on Broadway and was deeply interested by its beauty and the understanding shown by the actors of the lines and characters. I can still close my eyes and see the last scene as the curtain went down.

A WPA orchestra played music which had been composed for the performance by a man on one of the projects which was interesting. Equally interesting was the audience, not an ordinary Broadway audience this, for the play was no ordinary play, and yet every seat practically in the orchestra and gallery were taken and one young girl told a friend of mine that she had taken her seats ten days before. There are people evidently, who care for the theatre and are discriminating in their taste when it is within their means. I did not need to be persuaded of the value of the art projects but Friday night added an even deeper conviction to my belief.

Today we are on our way to Concord, New Hampshire.

E.R.
TMsd 26 April 1936, AERP, FDRL