My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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OLD SAYBROOK , Conn., Sunday—Friday afternoon, Mr. John Pollock brought Miss Phyllis Thaxter to tea with me. She has been a leading lady in the company playing "Claudia" in Chicago and New York City, and she is joining the company which is playing in Washington. Friday night was her first performance, for the former leading lady has entered the movies.

There is some distant relationship to us through the Schuyler and Merritt families and I was very glad to have this opportunity of seeing Miss Thaxter. She seemed nervous, but I am sure she is a very charming "Claudia." We had an interesting evening of discussion on European problems, and then Miss Thompson and I came to New York City on the night train.

Yesterday morning, I dropped in at a New York City department store to see a camouflage exhibit, and I also managed to do one or two errands before attending a lunch with some of my old political women friends.

An afternoon train took us to Saybrook, Conn., where we spent the night with our friends, Miss Esther Lape and Miss Elizabeth Read. This morning we went to Boston to visit the Naval Hospital here before continuing to Portland, Me., where we must spend the night in order to be ready to leave at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow for the ship launching in Camden, Maine.

There is one thing which seems to be prevalent among us, and which I wish might be eliminated. Too many people who have members of their family in the armed services feel that any boy who is not in uniform is a shirker. Often they do not stop to investigate the true situation before expressing their opinion. The result is that many boys in necessary occupations, or in training, are made to suffer in a very unfair way.

Sometimes boys in uniform also look down on boys who are still in civilian clothes. Without finding out what the reason may be, they gang up on them, and actually roughhouse them, or belabor them with words. I know, for instance, of boys who have been obliged to stick to farm work, who are made to feel very unhappy.

I also know of boys who are studying medicine or engineering, who are made equally uncomfortable. Our sense of fair play should, I think, make us feel that investigation should precede any expression of feeling. We are now functioning entirely under a selective service system and if people think anything is wrong, it is the draft boards we should examine and criticize, and not the boys themselves.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Saybrook (Middlesex County, Conn., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 8, 1943

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.