My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Thursday—It has been called to my attention that in speaking of St. Elizabeth's Hospital as the only Federal hospital for mental cases, I did not mention that the Veterans Administration and the services have hospitals that care for such cases also. The Veterans Administration has 28 neuro-psychiatric hospitals and one combination general and neuro-psychiatric institution at Tuskegee. St. Elizabeth's here is under the Department of the Interior and takes in many service connected cases.

Last night, the President and I gave a dinner for the Prime Minister of Poland. In talking to him, I was much interested to find that he had only gone into politics because he could not accomplish the things he wished to do for the agricultural people, with whom he was most closely associated, without identifying himself with the government. He comes from western Poland, where the cooperatives were extensively developed and they were his great interest. So many people in our own country find that though their interest may be primarily in one particular objective, they cannot accomplish a great deal without taking part in the government of their country.

I think that this is one of the reasons why more and more young people are deciding that it is not enough to vote and to try to have an intelligent opinion on the public questions of the day. They must actually represent constituencies in order to feel that they are bringing the full strength of their ability to bear in favor of their particular objectives.

I found the Prime Minister of Poland very interesting to talk to, and my admiration for the way in which his people have the courage to plan for the future grows daily. How they can plan when their loved ones are constantly in danger and live with anxiety and uncertainty from day to day is wonderful to me. This must require a fortitude and self-discipline which few of us know anything about.

This morning I went to Forest Glen and attended the discussion group there to which the men bring questions which they are anxious to have answered. The answers are all looked up and given to them, and they can ask questions to clarify any points which they cannot understand. This seems to me a most useful service. Anyone who sees much of the men in camps and in hospitals, knows how quickly rumors grow. In talking things over, if nobody knows the answer to a question, it is easy to get the wrong impression.

I am very sure of one thing. The more these boys, who have a new fight for health before them, realize what other people with the same handicaps have been able to accomplish, the easier it will be to overcome their own difficulties.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 9, 1944

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.