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

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—What does one do in New York City on a day late in June? I returned early from Atlantic City. I had my hair washed. I looked my apartment over to make sure everything was put away for the summer and I am quite certain that anyone who goes there for the night will not be tempted to stay more than one night, because it looks distinctly undressed, as houses do when rugs and curtains are removed!

I went to the broadcasting studio to do some recordings and later lunched with a friend in a moderately cool spot. Before going for my afternoon train I went to the Biltmore to meet with Mrs. Dorothy Lewis of the radio division of the United Nations and Mrs. William Barclay Parsons to discuss the plans of the nongovernmental organizations which are helping to spread the knowledge of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant to the people of our country.

I have had a number of people say to me: "Well, I know you work in the UN and they have got something called the Universal Bill of Rights, but I don't see that it matters much to me."

The other day someone told me of a group of people who felt quite resentful that the UN has its headquarters in this country because they could not see what contribution was being made to the well-being of the average individual by this organization. Also, they resented the money spent by every nation, both as a member of the body as a whole and as a member in the various specialized agencies and committees.

This attitude only proves to me that we need to tell people much more simply of the value of the work being done under the Economic and Social Council and how that work affects the daily lives of every human being.

Take one simple thing—the development of the World Health Organization. This organization makes it much more possible for us to guard against the spread of epidemics and, in a world where there are planes, germs can fly as rapidly as people can move about.

Next take the Food and Agriculture Agency. There are articles written today that tell the learned people that our planet is having its resources depleted by waste; that there is poverty in many parts of the world where people are always hungry because of a lack of understanding on the part of individual human beings as to how to conserve their resources.

Specialists or people who have been interested in this question of conservation do not need to be told these things. The average human being needs to know about it, however, and the UN specialized agency on food and agriculture, appealing as it will to farmers, individual housewives, and men who work in forests and mills, will gradually educate the people so that they will understand why they must insist that their government embark on programs to conserve the things upon our planet which bring us food and sustenance.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 30, 1949

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
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.