My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I have just finished reading Mr. David Lilienthal's book, "TVA Democracy On The March." I like particularly the way it points up the development of a river and the area surrounding it as a whole. All of the resources are developed in unison for the benefit of all the people in the region. The river provides power but not at the expense of navigation or flood control.

I saw with my own eyes, over a period of years, the change that came about through the control of soil erosion and the improvement of the productivity of the soil, in the actual well-being of the people. Their homes which I had seen unpainted and the clothing which I had seen reduced to a minimum, were beginning to improve as the soil improved. I am quite sure that this same pattern can be followed in other regions throughout our nation in the days to come, and may be made useful to the people of India, China, Africa, and South and Central America.

To follow the whole pattern may require a change in our thinking. Instead of thinking narrowly about one specific objective, we must think about the people of a whole region and with that goal in mind, we will do a bigger job which will affect more people; then, we really will see democracy on the march.

I often think that Senator Norris, in looking back over his long and useful life, must feel that in backing this pattern of development he has made a contribution to the well-being of the world. He will stand out in future history as one of our statesmen, not only with vision and imagination, but with great humanitarian achievements to his credit.

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of entertaining at tea a number of high naval officers from the New York area who came to talk over with Mr. John Golden the prizes which he has offered for plays written by Navy personnel. The Army plays for which he gave prizes were a great success, and I gather that he is also very proud and much interested in the plays which he has received in the current contest.

In the evening, we went to see "Carmen Jones" which we all enjoyed very much, and Miss Thompson and I took the midnight train back to Washington. Today is a very busy day here as some two hundred representatives of various women's organizations are meeting at the call of Miss Charl Williams, of the National Education Association; Dr. Minnie L. Maffett, of the Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs; Dr. Kathryn McHale of the American Association of University Women; and Mrs. La Fell Dickinson of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, to consider how women can make themselves more useful in the field of government.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL