My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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The courage of human beings seems to me something beyond price! Yesterday in the homestead for which the steel companies are putting up the money, and for which the American Friends Service Committee is providing management, I saw a group of women with their children sitting in a little frame house with an open fire on the hearth, preparing old rags and cutting up old stockings with which to make rugs for the houses of the future.

Seven families are living on this project now in chicken houses. One family with six children has a little brooder house next to the chicken house and in the brooder house, four boys sleep. The beds are double beds which is probably lucky for the cracks must let in much wind so two in a bed serve to keep each other warm. The little coal stove must go out at night. The only other furniture is a table with an oil lamp where the boys' work is spread out. It must take character to do one's lessons of a cold winter evening!

The foundations for the house are built, well laid and substantial and one man said to me very proudly: "They'll last a hundred years." What it will mean to have a five or six room house and some land on which to grow foodstuffs to be canned for the winter can only be imagined by seeing present conditions. The mines in this region vary of course, but many of the men work only two or three days a week. Ideals and a mounting grocery bill are not good preparations for a contented mind. A place of your own where you can work in your spare time—that will solve many of their problems.

I am most anxious to see how this project works out, and as we drove away there were invitations to come back and see them again which certainly found an echo in my heart, for I want to see that particular spot when the houses are up.

At the homestead we parted from Mrs. Cromwell and Miss Paschall who went to Pittsburgh to fly back to their home, while Mrs. Scheider and I went to Greensburg to take the train to New York. We had expected to take a night train from Pittsburgh, but finding we could make this train which got us in rather late last night, was a great relief for a night on the train does not prepare you well for a busy day and this day has certainly been a busy one.

The sale for the blind at twelve-thirty for a few minutes and then lunch with the Woman Pays Club, after which I presented a copy of my very small book on peace to Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt to whom I dedicated it. I feel that to her more than to any other woman many of us owe our interest in world peace and her example of unselfish giving of herself has been an inspiration to many of us.

In a short time I am going to the Rainbow Room in Radio City to see an exhibition of the Dance International. This is a most interesting undertaking and I am looking forward to it very much.

E.R.
TMsd 30 November 1937, AERP, FDRL