My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Friday—We were a little late getting into Kansas City this morning and so much mail awaited me that I am afraid I was very slow in getting ready for the day, so it was a few minutes before ten when Mrs. Scheider rather apologetically suggested that several people were waiting for me and the press downstairs clamoring to come up. Then I really hurried, saw the group representing the Missouri State Teachers Association and let the press come up.

I was in such a hurry that I did not even look at the coffee standing ready on the table. We had had some orange juice on the train and though I much prefer breakfast to lunch as a meal, I decided I would have to reverse the order and eat lunch instead of breakfast today!

The press spent quite a while with me because two young communists had come prepared to ask me questions which really concerned the residents of Kansas City. Finally at about a quarter before eleven I started out with Miss Hynes and Mr. Murry, WPA State Directors, to see some projects.

I have seen so many sewing rooms that walking through them is becoming somewhat automatic, but this one employs nineteen hundred women, some six hundred of them colored, and occupies six floors of a large office building! The light is good and it is a pleasant place to work. They have an exhibition room where their extremely good work is shown. Their baby dresses stand out because the women have put hand work on them and some of them are really exquisite. I am sure that the women who did the work I saw this morning would be valuable in any shop where fine lingerie is made.

Some of the weaving from the Ozark mountain districts was on exhibition also and seems to me to be extremely good, but the thing which I will carry away with me as distinctive was the few minutes in which I listened to the Negro women singing spirituals. They do it for recreation but they have an excellent leader and one woman with a beautiful soprano voice. When they all sang together it seemed to come from their hearts right into yours.

I saw a number of men's projects too, and reached the hotel a little before one, to find that a group was already waiting to take me over to a Classroom Teachers' luncheon, where I was not to eat but just to say a word of greeting. They were all through lunch and Professor Treadwell of Teachers' College, Columbia University, was about to make his speech, so I waited to hear him and enjoyed it very much.

Then before I knew it, I found myself at the luncheon of the Social Science Teachers, and somebody was being interrupted in the middle of a speech so here I apologized profusely and this time made my way to the street and back to my own hotel where Mrs. Scheider and I, having cut the telephone off, are now trying to make a dent on the mail which came this morning from Washington.

E.R.
TMsd 13 November 1936, AERP, FDRL