My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ELKINS, W.Va., Tuesday—The Greenbrier is an attractive and comfortable hotel and last evening was very pleasant. I am more than glad that this award could be given at the time of the Chi Omega Convention. They sponsor an achievement award every year, but it is not always given when their convention meets and as they have eighty-nine chapters, largely made up of younger members, it seems a good thing for youth to be encouraged by the realization that there is some recognition for work well done. Young or old, no one could help being impressed by meeting Dr. Alice Hamilton. Sweet faced, gentle and unassuming, a lovelier person can hardly be imagined. When she rose and said that in her field she had encountered very little opposition, your instinctive reaction was that no one could help wanting to be of service to her. She went on to explain, however, that she chose the type of work which most men did not care to do, but which she considered a woman could do particularly well: She has proved the soundness of her judgment, and I sat there thinking of the thousands and thousands of people in industry who owe their lives and their safety, because she had the courage to pioneer in research in industrial diseases.

It was fun to talk to the girls afterwards and to find Mrs. Ellen Woodward, Dr. Mary Beard and Kathryn Starbuck of Skidmore College there.

Eight o'clock this morning saw us on the road and though I had not meant to go to Alderson Prison, a note from Dr. Harris decided me to make the little extra trip for fear I would not get there any other time this summer. It is just as remarkable a place as when I was there before. Dr. Harris called an assembly and we sang together "America the Beautiful" and the colored girls sang a spiritual for me. One little platinum blonde with hair done as though she were about to appear on a night club floor, was both pathetic and more attractive than she has probably been for many years dressed in her farm overalls. "The Mikado" was being rehearsed and the stage was already decorated, beautifully done with a great deal of talent. The artist had to come to prison to discover her gift. I picked her out as she passed me because of her extremely interesting face. I hope she will have satisfaction and happiness from this new creative outlet which will wipe out much of her past.

We reached Reedsville late but well repaid for our delay.

E.R.
TMsd 23 June 1936, AERP, FDRL