My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK—Yesterday the skies were gloomy, and all through the day we had a certain amount of rain. But it held off long enough so that we swam in the morning and had three young men who are interested in the peace movement, come up to enjoy the swimming pool and tell us about their work. I had not realized that the Emergency Peace Movement had forty-two teams working this summer in various places throughout the country. Most of the workers are of college age, volunteering eight weeks of work and those who are able are contributing a certain amount towards their expenses. Five boys have been working for eight weeks here in Dutchess County, living in the basement of the Friends Church and cooking their own meals.

They have contacted church groups and granges and spoken before them throughout the county and left a skeleton organization to carry on work for peace and increase the interest in the subject. Though this work is done by young people largely, older people are working in it also and we sat around discussing the value of their work, their objectives and what could be done for a long time. It led to many discussions during the day.

Last evening it seemed to me that everybody had a different idea of how peace could be attained. Some of them claiming that it must be done through the leaders in each country, others insisting that it could not be done by the leaders but must be done by the education of the people in general as without their knowledge and comprehension of problems, no leaders could achieve great results.

No one expresses very great faith in the unselfishness of human being and everybody seems to acknowledge the fact that we must count on a certain amount of greed and willingness on the part of some human beings to prey upon others.

We were still arguing this question when the time came to go and meet my husband at the train. Three of the children went up to the station and returned without him. They came out very solemnly to announce that the President had decided to stay the night in New York. They thought that they would get a rise out of me but I know my children too well and calmly said that that was a very good idea. Whereupon they remarked: "Well now we will tell you the truth. He is coming in on standard time instead of daylight saving and the train is three-quarters of an hour late besides, so we have an hour and three quarters to wait until he gets here."

We waited and all went down to greet him. In spite of the pretty strenuous three days which made the whole party ready to go to bed, they were very full of all they had seen and quite anxious to tell us about everything.

E.R.
TMsd 16 August 1936, AERP, FDRL