My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LOS ANGELES, Monday—I cannot help being amused by the excitement over Secretary of Commerce Wallace's speech at the Jackson Day dinner. I may be wrong but it seems to me that the doctrine he is preaching has always been accepted by any member of any political party who held office. How could there be any effective party organization if those holding office did not subscribe to certain principles and to a party platform which has to be implemented by the passage of certain bills in order to carry out the program?

This does not mean that anyone becomes a slave. It simply means that, when you play on a team, you accept certain things as a member of that team. If certain objectives have been decided upon, you take direction to achieve them.

If you don't want to be on a team, but want to play a lone hand, then you must run for office as an independent and must accept the fact that, as an independent, you will have no organized support. If every member of a team insisted on his right to play the game in his own particular way, the chances are that the game would be lost. But, of course, if you find at any time that the team you have chosen to play with is no longer to your liking, you can always resign.

I don't think Mr. Wallace meant anything different from this, and surely this is no new doctrine but a very old one—one to which almost all political leaders have always subscribed.

* * *

Yesterday afternoon, I drove out to the Junior Auxiliary Jewish Home for the Aged. This home is for both men and women. They have a small hospital, a very charming dining room and auditorium, a small synagogue, and pleasant living quarters.

The old Jewish people there seem to spend most of their time in prayer, and so it was fitting that they should hold their short but moving ceremonies of welcome to me in their synagogue. In these ceremonies, they remembered my husband as their friend and presented me with a gift which will always have value because of the sentiment attached to it.

I could not help being thankful that, in this country, these old people could find a sanctuary in their declining years. A happy contrast to the sad old people that I saw in a Jewish refugee camp in Germany.

Later in the afternoon, I saw Dr. Temple, who told me something of the successful program of the Los Angeles Health Association. They are hoping that the methods that have been so successful here may spread to other cities. They have inaugurated a "Prevention of Disease Week," and they have made the fight against disease on the basis that it knows no racial or religious barriers and therefore must be fought by all the people of the community on equal terms.

This morning, before boarding a plane for San Francisco, we are to visit the USO "Troops in Transit Lounge" at the air terminal. They operate on a 24-hour basis, 7 days a week, with volunteers who look after service men, veterans, and their families. I am delighted that this service still continues because, in many cases, it is more needed now than it was when there were more organizations in the field to be of service to men in uniform and to their families.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL