My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Thursday—Dr. Louise Stanley of the Department of Agriculture, brought a Home Economist teacher, Mrs. M. Hacatoni from Hawaii, to see me today. She is over here for a year's study at Cornell. Her field of work is the end of a little island where people have been very badly off during the last few years. Her specialty is diets for so much rice is eaten by the people that they have extremely poor teeth.

Mrs. Hacatoni has been attempting to teach them to grow gardens of their own with a variety of green food. She told me that she thought it was not entirely economic necessity which made them stick to rice but a real preference and that they had to learn to eat other things. She has devoted so much time to nutrition that they sent her to Cornell to study psychology and to take the course in family life. I asked her if she felt that she could adapt the things which she learned here and which are naturally keyed to the needs of our own rural population, to the needs of her Hawaiian people. She smiled and said she felt sure that that was going to be quite possible. Dr. Stanley said that she would await with interest the report of the work which she did on her return to the Islands.

The variety of populations which our government has to deal with in this country seems to me very great, but when I think of what has to be done in London I realize that our problems are simple, for the British Empire spreads over even greater distances than we do. We have not learned yet, however, to train civil servants in the way that they do. That will come probably with age and with the constant improvement in transportation it should come fairly quickly.

Mr. John Ihlder came in to ask me to go to one more Christmas Tree tomorrow evening in the alley which is named after Mrs. Archibald Hopkins whose persistent and untiring work finally started the removal of these slum spots in the City of Washington and so one more Christmas celebration will be added to tomorrow's quota.

I was amused this morning to receive via her congressman a letter from a little western girl who shook hands with the President somewhere on his western trip, I believe and who had made up her mind that as she has had infantile paralysis she wishes to go to Warm Springs. She wrote me last summer but my reply did not satisfy her for I simply referred her letter to one of the committee in charge of the Birthday Balls and that seems to her too long a time to wait, so she writes the President now and tells him that she knows he will do what is necessary once. Such simple faith and trust should be rewarded and I only hope something can be done for her!

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