My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Thursday—Yesterday I had my first meeting with advisers in preparation for work on Committee No. 3 (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) during the sessions of the United Nations Assembly. Today the regular meetings of the United States delegation begin, morning and afternoon. And next week the Assembly will be in session, beginning on the afternoon of Oct. 23.

Every citizen of the United States will listen with great interest to Secretary of State Byrnes' report on the Paris Peace Conference when he broadcasts to the country Friday night. Nothing gives one such a sense of really understanding our foreign relations as hearing from the individual chiefly responsible for conducting negotiations. When you read accounts written by other people, you know you are getting the facts through their impressions, whereas when the man in charge actually talks to the people, the real situation emerges.

Last evening, I went to speak at St. George's Episcopal Church, where they are holding weekly meetings to carry on, side by side, a study of the Bible and a study of the things that are happening in the world. The purpose is to make church people more conscious of their responsibilities in shaping world affairs.

* * *

Yesterday afternoon, I went up to receive an award from the Good Neighbor Federation at the Settlement House on East 106th Street. This house is carrying on a most interesting experiment in interracial work among young people in a neighborhood where many races live side by side. Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, Negroes, Jews and Italians all rub elbows there.

The building was turned over by the Jewish Federation to a new and reorganized board because the neighborhood had become so varied that they felt the building should no longer serve just one group. In it, varied leisure-time activities are carried on.

This is an underprivileged neighborhood, and therefore one finds gangs among the boys and many practices which would lead rapidly to juvenile delinquency. Often, great bitterness exists between the various young groups. Therefore, to have them develop their abilities in the arts and crafts, and learn to play together, is a real safeguard and outlet. I was very much impressed by the program of music which they put on yesterday. One boy played the piano so well that I wish I could have him come with some of his group and play for me.

I am always very appreciative of the kindness which prompts people to give me an award for help in interracial understanding, but I never feel that anything any of us do in this respect deserves an award, since we are serving our own interests and the interests of our country.

I have come to the conclusion that love of animals is one of the things that can create a bond among people. As I walk about Greenwich Village and exercise Fala, while doing my household shopping in the mornings, I find that all of the children and many of the grown-ups want to be friendly with both Fala and me!

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL