My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DANVILLE, Ill., Wednesday—Our train journeys these days are short, but nevertheless the days seem to pass very quickly. Mrs. Vrooman saw us off this morning at nine-thirty, and the police met us in Danville at eleven-thirty. They are most kind and considerate and when I explain that we are in no need of a police escort, they let us go peacefully on our way.

I accomplished one thing on this trip which is a real triumph! Two of my hostesses took me to visit a public institution, and after we had been through a whole building, the matron turned to one of the ladies with me and asked: "Where are you folks from?" This caused the other ladies some apparent embarrassment, but made me feel very gleeful, for I still could get by unrecognized!

Since luncheon today, I have been to the post office to be shown the first notices being sent out in the unemployment census. Then with Miss Grant, who is program chairman for my lecture tonight which is under the auspices of the American Association of University Women, and Mrs. Phillip B. Hawes, who is county WPA Director, I have been to visit two WPA nursery schools; one for white children and one for colored children.

The one for white children is housed in the basement of a large school, and while it is not built for the purpose, there is plenty of sun and air and space and there is a park nearby for play.

The one for colored children is in a small frame building which belongs to a colored women's club. It is in a good location where there are plenty of children in the neighboring houses to attend, but the best one can say for it is that there is space for play at the back. The children get a good lunch, cod liver oil twice a day and the requisite amount of orange juice and milk. A coal stove in the one room which is available for eating, sleeping and playing, makes it too hot even on winter days, and certainly adds to the hazards to the little tots playing around it. They consider themselves fortunate, however, to have running water, for before the district commissioner attached the city water and agreed to pay for it, they carried what water was used into that building.

They told me that some of the children had gained pounds and it is evident that nursery school is very vital. I only hope that they succeed in finding before long some building which will allow them a little more space in which to carry on their good work.

We spent a few minutes at a community recreation center and now I am back in this very comfortable and attractive hotel, doing some work before tonight's lecture.

E.R.
TMsd 10 November 1937, AERP, FDRL