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

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HYDE PARK, Friday—On Wednesday I attended a meeting with the members of the Department of Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Education Association. They were as interested as I was in the speech made by the French woman, Madame Brule, who holds a fellowship over here in order to be able to study our school system. She is impressed by the happiness of our children and their freedom in the classroom. She maintains, though, that there is more thirst for knowledge and insistence on study for the sake of knowledge only in the French school system.

Rather wistfully, I thought, she commented on the fact that for the most part our children were well fed and well-clothed which, of course, does make it easier to absorb education.

In the evening I enjoyed very much talking on the air with Delbert Clark who conducts the New York Times Forum of the Air, and with President Leonard Carmichael of Tufts College and James L. Hanley, head of the Providence, R.I., school system. The latter was more conscious of the youngsters whose education ceases before college and, therefore, felt a great need for indoctrinating our youngsters with democracy.

Someone said to me yesterday that he felt it would be a great help if instead of always reciting our failures, we sometimes talked about the real achievements that are accomplished in our democracy. I am entirely in agreement with this idea and think it is essential that we drive home to our young people what are the actual benefits we achieve year by year. Knowing our failures, however, is valuable too, because it does not permit us to become complacent and it obliges us to strive to eliminate any blots we might have.

I was distressed to read in the newspapers yesterday morning that the Russians were pulling out of the United Nations health agency. That is one of the few specialized agencies to which the USSR has been willing to belong, and the benefits to be derived from worldwide cooperation on health projects seem so very obvious that it is difficult to understand why the Soviets do not wish to keep in touch with the rest of the world.

Dr. Brock Chisholm has offered to visit Moscow in March "for fuller discussion" and feels that the criticisms made by the Russians of the World Health Organization are premature. I have a feeling that their reason for withdrawal is more than that "tasks connected with the international measures for prevention and control of diseases and with the spread of medical science achievement are not being accomplished by the organization satisfactorily." It must be that they feel that collaboration with any other nation on anything is dangerous.

They are reluctant to let people enter their country, to see things for themselves and to talk freely with their people, but they are also becoming more and more reluctant to let their citizens go out and see things for themselves.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Carmichael, Leonard, 1898-1973 [ index ]
         American educator; Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | US Nat. Archives ]
  • Chisholm, Brock, 1896-1971 [ index ]
         Canadian psychiatrist and international civil servant; first Director-General of the World Health Organization)
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | Other source ]
  • Hanley, James L. [ index ]
         Rhode Island educator
  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 19, 1949

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

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

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
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  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
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  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
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  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.