My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

WASHINGTON, Thursday—We had a real treat yesterday in hearing Michael Strange recite with the harp as an accompaniment. Her voice is very lovely and she is very lovely to watch. She recited some of her own poems, some by Iris Tree which I had never heard before, and one or two that I knew well. I can think of no more delightful way to hear poetry.

Last evening I went up to one of the series of concerts given in the Library of Congress. I wish I could always be free to go and I think a small theatre such as they have is a perfect place for a string quartet. The Roth Quartet from Budapest played a Schubert programme and the evening was altogether delightful.

The instruments all have histories and the cello to me, had the most beautiful tone I ever remember hearing.

A grand ride this morning but under gray skies again for it seems that the weather can not live up to more than one day of sun and we returned in the rain.

I feel almost wicked to continue the daily round when so many people are suffering. A letter from my daughter-in-law, Ruth, told me that they were sixteen hours late in reaching Texas but they had seen so much of the devastation from the train windows they could not even complain of their superficial discomfort.

On Saturday of this week the Birthday Balls will be held for the benefit of crippled children. The money raised will go not only to the Warm Springs Foundation for research and improvement at the Springs, but seventy percent of it will remain in the various communities. I think it is important that people should take an interest in the way that this money is spent in their community. It is not enough to treat a child in a hospital for a brief time. Crippled children must be rehabilitated. Something must be done which will make life worth living and a rounded program of education as well as health should be the concern of every community in the interest of preventing these youngsters from growing up to be a charge on the community rather than an asset.

I think also it should be remembered particularly with small children that though they may be discharged from a hospital with a brace and a partial cure, they must be watched as they grow. They will need new braces, they will need new exercises, they will need checking up. There is no use in thinking that you have fully discharged your duty to a crippled child when you have done the first part of the job. I am hopeful that in every community where these children are, the committees will concern themselves with how the money is spent, search out those who need help and make sure that they get it until they are really on their feet and able to be self-supporting citizens.

TMsd 28 January 1937, AERP, FDRL