My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Thursday—On the morning before we left Campobello, Elliott and the children and I went over to see a Mr. Vogl's fish-canning factory in Eastport, Maine. I knew his sister when she first came to this country from Czechoslovakia, and she is now helping him in his business. It seems curious to find a man from Czechoslovakia canning fish in Maine, but he seems to be doing a very intelligent job.

We saw the production line where fish were being packed in the Norwegian way, the California way and the Gloucester way! Upstairs, women were packing herring in the Maine way, and the rapidity with which they worked took my breath away. It was all very clean and efficient, and we found it most interesting.

* * *

Then we proceeded to visit Quoddy Village, which I had not seen since the National Youth Administration days. The Navy has left a number of fine buildings, and there are, of course, various proposals for the way in which these should now be used.

Some people in Eastport told me that Sen. Owen Brewster is backing a plan, in which a Mr. Cohen is interested, to train displaced persons in assembling farm machinery, light trucks and tractors, and then to send these people with the machinery to South American countries. I understand the city of Eastport would have to sponsor the project, and it seems to me it would be a rather difficult one to put through successfully.

They told me of another proposal in connection with displaced persons who are students in medicine. This would be in connection with an established university and seems to me perhaps a little easier to handle. But I did not feel that enough information was available for an outsider to have any opinion on these projects.

* * *

Because of having been so far away, I have only just heard some very sad news. The death of Dr. Harriet Elliott came as a shock to me, even though she had been ill for some time. She will be remembered for her work in the University of North Carolina and, during the war, in the Government in various capacities.

I think no one who worked with her could fail to have the greatest respect for her ability as well as for selflessness. She was never trying to gain personal distinction, she was always trying to do a good job. I have never heard anything but praise from her associates, either in North Carolina or in Washington.

I did not have the good fortune to know her very well but no one could fail to sense her quality. I realize that a life of invalidism is something that no one of her caliber would want. But I wish she could have regained her health and lived longer to help with the things that are so important now, and to give her friends the joy of her presence.

I have not mentioned, either, the death of T. Arnold Hill of the National Urban League. He is a great loss, since men such as he, who have a calm and disinterested outlook and are willing to give of themselves for the good of all people, are rare to find. He had a full life and accomplished more than most people can hope to achieve. His passing will be deeply felt not only by his family and friends, but by the work which he carried on so well.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL