My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Sunday—When the National Committee on United Nations Day met with the President last Thursday, we went out into the rose garden to have a photograph taken with the 4-H girls who were presenting the President with the first hand-made United Nations flag. Under the guidance of Mr. M.L. Wilson of the Department of Agriculture, the Extension Service has worked out a plan whereby any group wishing to make one of these flags can obtain a kit with the pattern. They expect that many thousands will be made before U.N. Day. Older people and younger people have taken up this project with enthusiasm, and I think it will help to make many people familiar with this flag which belongs to all of us who are members of the United Nations.

As I stood in the garden admiring the roses, the President told me they had had a terrible time trying to keep the rose bugs down. This will sound familiar, I think, to the ears of all those who have rose gardens. What havoc those rose bugs play, not only with the leaves but with the buds, and how they love to hide away in the heart of a lovely rose—to make it fall apart when we pick it!

The President pointed out to us a piece of sculpture which had been brought for him to see and which was placed about halfway down the lawn. It was a striking figure of a young man holding above his head an eagle which held an olive branch in its claws. The President pointed out to me how instead of symbolizing despair this figure symbolized hope and confidence in the future for youth; and since that was what we were all working for, he enjoyed looking at the statue. I am sure that there are many of us who wish with all our hearts that this statue could symbolize the actual future awaiting every young man and young woman in this country. It is a bitter feeling indeed that after such a short period of peace we should see our young people engaged again in war.

Of all the USSR propaganda, what angers one almost beyond endurance is the insistence on their part that the United States desires to engage in war. I can well imagine that the people of Russia by this time have been made to believe that our objectives are warlike and that we intend to attack them. If there was any way to penetrate the Iron Curtain, I would warmly support the suggestion made to me by a woman who wanted the mothers of this country to communicate with the mothers of the USSR and ask them to join with us in telling our respective governments that we would have no war. How can this direct communication be brought about, however, when all they see and hear is information given them by their own government?

To my surprise, when I went to the airport in Washington to take the plane back to New York City, I found there one of my cousins from California. Douglas Robinson was going to Hyde Park to meet his mother, who occasionally goes there to rest in her father's old house where she grew up. This house was always known as the "Red House," a name which denoted the color of the paint and not the shade of belief of the people who lived in it. On the whole, Mrs. Robinson's father, who was my husband's half brother, might have been considered a conservative. Certainly he belonged to the Hudson River era which enjoyed comfort and in which certain people had an ease of life rarely obtainable today.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL