My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Thursday—Yesterday morning I was visited in my office by a group of youthful journalists from Public School 34. They are members of The Youthbuilders and they solemnly asked questions—some of which I was not able to answer—on all of the important events of the day. The one question which left me completely nonplused was: What could they, at the age of 12, do to promote the welfare of the nation? Of course, children have taken a very active part in many of the salvaging campaigns and in the buying of stamps and bonds during the war. This has aroused in them the feeling that there must be things they could do in the peace. I entirely agree, but I rather think we will have to find them as we go along, because to sit down and plan a program would be a little difficult!

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In the afternoon, a group presented me with the second sheet of seals being sold for the Carver Memorial Fund. Dr. George Washington Carver, the outstanding scientist of Tuskegee Institute, will always remain to me one of the most impressive people I have ever known. He had a beautiful face, and a serenity and dignity which I have rarely seen equalled in any human being. His memorial should be a tribute by the whole of the American people to one of their great men.

Later, Miss Thompson and I had an amusing interview with two ladies who are writing a book on secretarial work in general, and who wished to find out all there was to know about Miss Thompson. Some of their questions were: What makes a good secretary? Did you decide to be one when you were knee-high to a grasshopper, or did it just happen? Why are you valuable to an employer? Do you think your life has been influenced by your employer? I think we discovered, in the course of the conversation, that any work in which you are in close contact with another human being is probably so individual that you cannot describe it as a general occupation; nor can you give from your own experience any general rules that would help other people if they are going to do a special job for one individual, and not a routine one.

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In the evening I went to the Women's Trade Union League clubhouse for my class, which I had deserted the last two weeks. The group is a stimulating one and I hope they are getting as much out of our brief hour together as I am getting out of their questions.

By 8:30 I reached the Community Center of the Congregation of B'Nai Jeshurun, where I had been invited to speak in honor of the returning veterans of World War II. A play was given by the Victory Players. These actors and actresses donate their time and, without any scenery, put on skits which have to do with questions close to our problems of today. The Theatre Wing, through its many activities, has earned the gratitude of all of us during the war period, and I hope it is going to continue much of its work in these difficult days of reconversion. This group of actors did a scene with a returned veteran which had both humor and pathos. The only thing the actors left out in their returning hero skit was the housing problem, which at present is stirring up every veteran in the city of New York.

E. R.

TMs, AERP, FDRL