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

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GREENSBORO, N.C., Tuesday—The other day I received an interesting statement from the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace. They offer a proposal to the United Nations which urges "the setting up of a commission on human rights and fundamental freedoms to this end. It is a necessary part of permanent peace, for there can be no such thing as a lasting peace that is not founded on the decent treatment of human beings."

I gather that they propose that this should be part of the document which will emerge, we hope, from the San Francisco meeting—something like our own Bill of Rights. It is so general in its terms that I wonder if the Dumbarton Oaks proposals of a social and economic council, under which all the various groups working for economic and social aims throughout the world can find a place to work together, would not be the proper place for these considerations. Certain it is that in the future we do need to have some people who will study the conditions of various peoples throughout the world and try to determine how we can help them to obtain a decent living and to preserve their fundamental rights and freedoms.

* * *

I have an amusing letter which I want to publish here, because it shows the spirit in which we should all approach whatever work we can do. I am afraid the "anxious" ladies referred to cannot have their age limit changed, since that is in the power of the military only, and they made the original decision. But it is good to find people who want so badly to make a contribution, and I congratulate them and hope that whatever they do will be done in this same spirit!

"We are taking the liberty to write you," the letter reads, "to see if we could interest you in our problem, namely—about a dozen of us are beyond the age to be WAC soldiers.

"We are strong, well educated, of good character and holding down men's jobs by day, and work 'extra' at night. We are bank clerks, bookkeepers, office workers.

"Will not our Commander-in-Chief have the age limit raised to, say, sixty-five? None of us are this old. . .

"We have bought bonds from 'can to can't.' But we want an active part in the victory that will be ours eventually. Soldiers returning from the front would be glad of our jobs. We are not old, broken-down women, but are alert go-getters. There would not be enough of us to be objectionable to the young GIs, who of course want young girls to go with. We would be strictly business, and feel sure that the Army would never regret taking us in. Physical examinations are required for some of us to hold our present positions, and we passed these without a defect. . .

"On the Anxious Seat"

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Greensboro (N.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 21, 1945

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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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.