My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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Yesterday afternoon in Shawnee the auditorium was filled with a goodly number of young people, and so I tried to tell them again something about the White House itself, which if they ever come to Washington, may add to the interest of their visit. We were through at four o''clock and drove out to see the Industrial School for Girls. They take girls there from eight to eighteen and I should think that would make it more difficult to manage because children are there not only because of their own delinquency but because their parents have been found unfit to care for them and occasionally when they are orphans and the orphanages of the state are over crowded. The school is organized on the cottage system, however, and so this particular difficulty may be overcome to some extent by having the groups separated according to age.

Some of the girls were in their overalls as they came from the barns where they run a dairy. We were taken into the main meeting room to see the walls which have been completely decorated by the girls themselves. In each panel was a picture very nicely painted under the direction of their art teacher. They evidently have a varied and interesting course and I thought the girls looked happier and behaved with less constraint than is often the case in such institutions.

From there we went directly to the Indian sanitarium for tuberculosis. It was clean and cheerful and the doctor was very friendly as he took me from room to room to see about forty patients in the main building. There were a number of ambulatory patients outside. We went over to see the occupational therapy work which is a great factor in their recovery because there are so many long and tedious hours which with nothing to do would seem interminable and would lead to the kind of unhappiness and depression which retards recovery. I had known very little before that about the new surgical methods for treating tuberculosis and was much interested in all I heard. They have Indians coming from all over the United States and when I asked if this disease was particularly prevalent among the people of the Indian race, he said: it is a disease in which the economic situation is the prevalent factor and the only reason that the Indians may have a greater percentage of t.b. is that their economic condition is often bad and they do not know how to live in modern civilization.

The poor little houses we have passed with large automobiles outside them are frequently the dewlling of Indians who have a fair income in this state from mineral rights on their land, so it would seem necessary to continue the work of helping them to better their living conditions.

After the evening lecture we spent the night with our kind hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Harber and felt somewhat hesitant about asking them to give us breakfast at an early hour so we might be ready to leave at eight a.m. but like perfect hosts they responded that they always got up at six! Mr. Harber added that he had spent his early life on a farm and never could get accustomed to lying in bed of a morning!

We actually got off at eight a.m. and were in Durant by eleven-fifteen.

E.R.
TMsd 18 March 1937, AERP, FDRL