My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Wednesday—On the Fourth of July we celebrated our independence, but this year a ceremony took place on that day in the Philippine Islands which gave a special point to our own celebration.

From the time Admiral Dewey took these islands from the Spanish, a conflict went on within the United States as to their final disposition. There were people who felt that, having taken them in a war which, like all wars, had cost us a certain amount, we were entitled to develop them and to get some return on our investment. There were others who felt that, when people wanted freedom, we were obligated to help them to obtain it. And besides, in the last World War, it looked as though our investment had been amply repaid by the loyalty and goodwill of the people of the Philippines.

These people had long asked for ultimate freedom and we had promised it. And when the date finally was set, I think the majority of us in the United States felt a pride that we were able to give a people their freedom, and hoped that we would help each other in the future so that our economic interests would fare as well under this new situation as they had in the past.

Hard times are not over in the Philippines. The birth of a new nation and the development of self-government is never an easy process. But I hope we will continue to help, for the war has taken a heavy toll both of the people and the material possessions in these islands. For ourselves, I think the sense that we have fulfilled a promise will always add to our appreciation of our own Independence Day.

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I have had one or two personal experiences lately in regard to the admission of girls into colleges, particularly co-educational colleges, which make me wonder whether we shouldn't begin a campaign to prevent the young women of tomorrow from losing the opportunity for higher education. The pressure of returning veterans has forced many colleges not only to add to their facilities, but to cut down on the number of women they are able to take in.

Miss Margaret A. Hickey, president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, noted this fact at the opening session of their convention in Cleveland. While no one suggests that veterans should not have priority, it begins to look as though the result were going to be a lack of opportunity for young women. This would certainly mean that these young women would not be prepared to take their share of responsibility in facing the economic and political problems of the next few years.

I think this is a very serious situation for the colleges. And perhaps consideration should be given to providing for girls the kind of quarters that would be available to unmarried veterans. A breakdown in the higher educational opportunities for women, even though it may last only a few years, would have very serious results.

E.R.

(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1946, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.; REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART PROHIBITED.)

TMs, AERP, FDRL