My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—Last night was a most memorable occasion. The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Children's Bureau in the Department of Labor. The thing which impressed me most was the fact that far reaching results do come from very small beginnings. The oak does from the acorn grow. The important thing is that the acorn should be good, and in this case the idea was certainly a valuable one which has meant much to children and their mothers throughout this country.

Miss Wald, Mrs. Florence Kelley and Julia Lathrop, in whose minds germinated the idea, were three people whose ideas have counted much in the development of the thought of the nation. People constantly say to me that the last four years are responsible for the development of a more general sense of social responsibility throughout the nation. To me this seems rather short sighted. The last four years are the outgrowth of years of thinking and working by individuals any by groups throughout the country. Last night as each individual was introduced, I thought of the organization or organizations that he or she represented. In other cases the trend of thought and mode of life which some individual represented in themselves was uppermost in my mind. Our increased sense of social responsibility, if it exists, is due in large to many of the people who either attended the dinner last night or who have finished their work in this world, but were nevertheless remembered by those who were present last night.

It was a long dinner but I enjoyed it all. Reached the White House at twenty minutes before twelve, and hurriedly changed and went on down to the midnight train. I really feel quite at home in the little room on that train and the porter does not even ask me anymore what time I want to be called! Everyone takes it for granted that my habits are fixed, and as I got off this morning the assistant station master remarked "You're an early riser—We have so much trouble getting some people out by quarter before eight." The fact is that the few days I have in New York are never long enough to do half of the things I want to do.

I have tried on some spring clothes, though the weather still feels to me like winter. I have attended the Todhunter Alumnae Luncheon. I really think this group is going to develop into a very active and helpful organization in the interests of the school.

This afternoon I am going to a performance at the Neighborhood Playhouse where a young friend in whom I am interested is studying, and tonight I attend the Girls Scout Dinner which is my real reason for coming up to New York for this day.

E.R.
TMsd 9 April 1937, AERP, FDRL