The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON,, Tuesday—When I was in Honolulu, I began my second morning as planned by breakfasting cafeteria style in a big dining room with three service boys. One came from West Virginia near Charleston, and the other two from Ohio. One, in fact, had been down in a mine when I visited it some years ago. At 8:00 a.m., Governor Ingram Stainback and his wife called for me and we visited first the headquarters of the OCD. The need for protective measures on Honolulu was rather tragically brought home to everyone on a certain December 7th, so it is not surprising to find them well organized. The OCD here does a number of things which it doesn't do elsewhere. For instance, the defense organization runs a blood bank where they do laboratory work as well. This is because it was functioning before the war as a civic group and it intends to go on after the war. They also run the most active canteen for the schoolchildren of workers. Otherwise the work seemed much the same as elsewhere, but the volunteers are plentiful and faithful for they know from experience you are useless unless trained and know what you are expected to do in an emergency.

At 9:30 a.m. we turned to the Red Cross activities. The local headquarters are in the Honolulu Academy of Arts and it seemed well organized in every branch. I am glad I was allowed a few minutes to look at some of the museum's treasures, and learned the schoolchildren use the Museum very extensively every day. I wonder if ever we shall feel justified in doing things just for pleasure again? I certainly hope so, for I would like to return to this museum and spend a long time looking at various things which I only had time to glance at. I think I have learned through force of circumstance to take in a good deal at a glance but, it is never as enjoyable to see things that way.

I also visited the National Red Cross headquarters blood bank and surgical dressing unit in the historic home, which belonged to the Hawaiian Queen Emma. The house has many interesting things in it and again, with a little more leisure, I would have welcomed the luxury to stop. We did spend a really leisurely time at a charming place on the water, where the Red Cross runs picnics for convalescent patients from the various military hospitals. One group of healthy men also were entertained. Everyone had an excellent hot lunch and I talked with some boys collectively and in small groups and signed my autograph the usual number of times.

In addition, we were photographed together in a variety of groups. I hope the boys enjoyed themselves, for I certainly did. We took the most beautiful drive after lunch and ended up at a canteen for the Army and Navy run by the USO. Then for a brief moment, I stopped at the YWCA to see the girls who go out to dance and play and sing soft Hawaiian songs for the boys in the late afternoons and evenings after their own day's work is done. Then I visited a canteen run, I think, by a Catholic group, and finally went to the Governor's house for a meeting with the heads of the various war work agencies for a pleasant and informal tea.

At 6:00 p.m. I was back at the hotel and saw a young couple I knew for a few minutes and found to my regret, that a soldier whom I had hoped to see here, because a friend of mine knew his father well, unfortunately was off to other duty. At 7:00 p.m. General Richardson called for me and I spent a pleasant evening with some generals who will carry many heavy responsibilities in the next few months. We all enjoyed some music which I have as a pleasant memory of those beautiful islands.


(Copyright, 1943, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 29, 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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.