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

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—At the presentation of the M. Carey Thomas award in Philadelphia the other night, Supreme Court Justice Wiley Rutledge gave a speech that would have given joy to the lady in whose honor the award was created. Miss Thomas did much to advance the status of women, and Justice Rutledge took as his subject: "Women's Rights, the Barometer of Democracy."

When we think of the way Hitler created a slogan for women: "Kinder, Kirche und Kuche" (Children, Church and Cooking), and thereby sent them back to the realms of the kitchen and the care and bearing of children, leaving them to take what spiritual and mental stimulus they needed from the church and largely using the church to keep them at the other two occupations considered necessary to the state, we realize what can happen to women's rights under a dictatorship. The advance of women is a fairly good measure of the advance of democracy. Their advance is slow just as is the growth of democracy. Each step taken forward, however, is a real step toward freedom and justice.

* * *

On Friday morning I left Miss Gertrude Ely's, where I was staying, to breakfast with Miss Katharine McBride, president of Bryn Mawr College, and to meet some of the undergraduates. Later in the morning, with Miss Anna Lord Strauss and her two sisters, I took the train to New York City.

We arrived in time for the luncheon at the Advertising Club, given by Mr. Isaac Liberman, president of Arnold Constable and Co. There were many retail merchants and manufacturers present, and Mrs. Anna Rosenberg, Mr. Alfred Vanderbilt and I had the opportunity to tell them about our campaign for the Wiltwyck School Endowment Fund.

* * *

Driving up the parkway on our way to Poughkeepsie early in the afternoon, to my disappointment I saw no signs of spring. More snow had fallen and it looked fresh and white. It was most discouraging if one wanted to see a pussy willow or a skunk cabbage breaking into spring garb, and I have begun to wish for some such signs of winter's end!

In Poughkeepsie, I went straight to Vassar College to speak for the Students for Democratic Action on "Problems Facing the UN." The meeting lasted only an hour because many of the girls had to go to work on cooperative jobs before suppertime.

I was glad to see one of my young cousins, which reminded me that I have more than one at Vassar and I hope I will see them this spring.

* * *

After a hurried supper at home, I was off to a meeting of the Girl Scouts in celebration of their 25th anniversary in one of the old schools in Poughkeepsie. It was a crowded meeting, and spoke well of the popularity and vitality of this organization. Three of the youngsters—representing the Brownies, the Girl Scouts, and the Senior Scouts—presented me with a certificate of appreciation.

I responded by telling them a little about what their program of friendship with the girls of other nations and how the material assistance to those needing clothes and food are appreciated by the children I had seen in Europe.

That ended a rather busy two days and I was glad to/get home for some rest and quiet!

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 15, 1948

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.