My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Last night at St. Paul's School was a very interesting experience. All the boys crowded into the big study hall. Those in front sat decorously on desks or on benches but as they went towards the back they were seated on top of the desks or on the radiators or any place they could find to perch themselves.

It is always a challenge to talk to young people but when they range from twelve to eighteen years in age, I confess to being somewhat nervous. However, this group was alive every minute. I talked for half an hour and then they asked me questions. Instead of the usual long pause in which you wonder if any one will ever get up the courage to say anything, this group jumped in almost immediately.

One thing struck me forcibly. Several of the boys asked me about the unemployed as though the unemployed were a block of some strange kind of animal. So many people do this, it stirs in me a species of resentment for we should realize how easily we ourselves might be the unemployed, given a little different turn of fortune's wheel. We seem to forget that the unemployed are individuals, human beings with all the tastes and likes and dislikes and passions we have ourselves. When we meet them as individuals our feeling is entirely different, but as a group we talk about them as though they were so many robots.

I often wonder how we can make the more fortunate in this country fully aware of the fact that the problem of the unemployed is not a mechanical one. It is a problem alive and throbbing with human pain.

Dr. and Mrs. Drury, Mr. and Mrs. John Cutter, my two nephews, Mrs. Scheider and I sat and talked for an hour after we went back to Dr. Drury's house. At seven this morning Dr. Drury knocked at our doors and at a quarter to eight we sat down to a very delicious breakfast. Dr. Drury, Mrs. Cutter and Danny went off to Chapel at eight-fifteen, and Henry and Mrs. Cutter saw us off.

We saw more of the trouble brought about by the floods this morning and had to take a long detour again because of a bridge being out, but we reached my friend Miss Read at Westbrook, Conn. at two-fifteen, and it was nice to have a little chat with her before proceeding to New Haven.

E.R.
TMsd 28 April 1936, AERP, FDRL