My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Thursday—As I was driving along the street the other day I saw a group of young people dressed in Austrian and Tyrolean costumes, and I remembered that these were the young students who have been over here doing folk songs and dances throughout the country, trying to support themselves on this tour and not completely succeeding.

These Good Will Student Tours are under Austrian and American patronage, but the idea of the students themselves helping to support themselves while here is an excellent part of the project.

Until now I did not quite understand what the organization hoped to do in the future and in a previous column I might have given the impression that the students were going to tour in Western Europe. Their intention, however, is to recruit students from the whole of Western Europe and have three groups touring in this country. In doing so, the young people will get a good idea of this country and have an opportunity to teach something about their own countries as they travel and meet other young people here.

* * *

Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden was nothing short of a madhouse! The Garden filled up so quickly with people who waited outside for hours that several of my guests from the United Nations missions who tried to get in at 7:20 were refused admittance in spite of having reserved seats in my box. A number of other guests, including my grandson, also never appeared, so I imagine they too were not permitted to come in.

It seems like bad management not to allow people with reserved seats to come in and take those seats up to the time marked on the tickets. There was not a seat empty but many of them were filled by people without tickets.

The people who were in our seats when we arrived were very kind, and they moved. I was sorry to have to ask them to do so, but I did feel that some better arrangements might have been made than simply to turn ticket holders away by telling them there was no room—and long before the hour marked on their tickets.

This bad management also was visible in one or two other instances, but for the most part that was due to speakers who would not keep to the time allotted. This was glaringly revealed when, as earlier speakers had exceeded their time limit, John Cashmore of Brooklyn, the candidate for the U.S. Senate, found himself cut off for planned television entertainment. He tried to go on in spite of the band but after some hesitation and mixup the TV show finally went on.

It was a regrettable incident but can only be blamed on the way people do run over the time allotted for their speeches. It always means that the last one has to be cut. The show itself was very good and much enjoyed by everyone. In fact, one of the taxi drivers I was with yesterday told me it was the best show he had ever seen.

When I arrived at the Garden I was told that the five minutes allotted me by the State Democratic Committee to introduce Governor Stevenson had been cut to a minute and a half. So, I cut mercilessly and ended by using only a minute, which seemed to upset the directors considerably. Even before I had a chance to introduce the governor, however, he had started down the aisle and the noise drowned out my last words.

As a Democratic Madison Square Garden rally it was the most enthusiastic and most crowded I have ever seen, and I think it indicated that our Democratic candidate is moving up in popular appeal.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL