My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Wednesday—Our bad luck on train schedules followed us on last Friday night and our train from the West came in after 2 a.m. instead of at midnight.

Some young students of Ames College, Iowa, were delegated to see me safely on board. Most of them had attended a dance given by the engineering group but that had come to an end at 1 a.m. I was really sorry for them as we sat in the car waiting for our train to arrive.

One young man told me that he never could have gone to college except for the G. I. Bill of Rights. He is majoring in journalism and Saturday morning at 8 o'clock he had to take an examination! There would not be more than three hours sleep for him. Isn't it wonderful to be young?

Another boy was studying horticulture and he remarked that in that field there was comparatively little competition. He said he already had a job lined up for after his graduation in March. A third boy was from Des Moines, just about to graduate from high school and he has earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan, but the other two were trying to persuade him to go to Ames. He also said that without the scholarship he probably would not be able to go to college.

Youth's determination to have an education is growing, and I hope the government will give a hand to those among our young people who are capable of profiting from higher education and are willing to work.

Everywhere I go I hear the same thing—that the G.I. students have stepped up the standards even for the undergraduates. I'm sure that is because they know what they want and are willing to work for it. They have to get through as quickly as possible because they want to get to the business of living.

* * *

I have been asked several times in press conferences how I feel about the passage by the Senate of the Equal Rights Amendment.

I think I feel somewhat the way our Democratic Senator Lehman from New York State feels. I regret to see wiped out legislation which has proved of benefit to women. I realize that for women engaged in industry there may be today wider labor organization, but even then it seems to me that the passage of this amendment will mean a great deal of energy put into ratification by the necessary number of states. If this energy were employed to remove such laws as are detrimental to the rights of women in the various states, the objective desired by many women would be accomplished much more quickly and more easily than by a Constitutional amendment.

I do not want women to suffer under any disabilities but I think it is foolish not to recognize that there are differences between men and women and that women require certain differences in labor conditions. In the professions there is little discrimination today and little need for an Equal Rights Amendment.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL