My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DETROIT, Tuesday—As I stepped off the train in Detroit at ten minutes before eight this morning, Mrs. Stringer under whose auspices I am speaking tonight, completely took my breath away by telling me that three hundred young people had come down to greet me and were waiting outside the station. The mere thought that that number of youngsters had bestirred themselves at such an early hour to have nothing more than a nod and a good morning from me, was too appalling. But luckily, I discovered that in actual fact there were only about thirty girl and boy scouts lined up to present me with a beautiful bunch of flowers!

I wish I had time to see all the interesting things which people are so anxious to show me. There is at Albion, some hundred odd miles from here, quite a remarkable school for boys. It is not a reformatory but a school run by a Mr. Starr who started it on his own initiative and has gradually interested other people in his work. The boys may be difficult boys, but the training they receive has so far been successful for many have become good citizens.

After a very pleasant lunch with some friends to which Mrs. Scheider and I were taken by my brother who is here for a few days every week, I returned to the hotel to be whisked off by representatives of the Youth Administration. They are doing a guidance and placement project in cooperation with the public schools on one hand and the United States Reemployment Service on the other, which is exceptionally interesting. In the U.S. Reemployment Service they are placing about or hundred and twenty five young people a week between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one, many of whom have had no previous work experience. They use in the office about seventy eight young people who in this way receive training which makes them eligible for better jobs.

The government departments are cooperating in the training end of this program and the Board of Appraisers is using a great many of the NYA boys and girls and giving them an opportunity to obtain proficiency on very complicated business machines.

It was nice when our breakfast was brought in this morning to see a familiar and smiling face. It was the same waiter who had greeted me the day that my husband was here and in explanation of the length of time we had to wait for our order that night, had said: "The President is in town and nothing can move as expeditiously as usual!" When I got out of the car to enter the hotel Statler this afternoon an elderly man grasped me warmly by the hand and said: "God bless you, Mrs. Roosevelt. How is the President?" It's a friendly world, isn't it?

TMsd 17 November 1936, AERP, FDRL