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

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—I think United Nations Day was well celebrated both at the U.N. headquarters and by the City of New York yesterday. I was sorry I could not be in two places at once. I would have liked to see the dedication of what I have known as the Aquarium, but which once was the gateway into this country. The ceremonies at City Hall must have been interesting, too. But I had to be in my seat as a delegate at Flushing, awaiting the President's arrival.

The President's speech was fine, I thought, and I particularly liked the emphasis on disarmament, coupled with the warning that there must be good faith in that disarmament. Until the people of the world could be assured that disarmament would apply to all alike, he said, the free nations must keep themselves strong. I only hope that we in this country, who love to forget about the disagreeable things that face us and enjoy life and live comfortably, will not be lulled to sleep again until we have forged a strong and effective United Nations, coupled with a U.N. inspection force that can guarantee protection. Then, and then only, can we be free to use our money exclusively for the improvement of the everyday lives of the people. There is no use in looking forward to this desirable period until we are sure that no war and no aggressor can catch us unawares.

There still may be a few week ends pleasant enough for people to want to drive up to the library at Hyde Park. Therefore, I would like to draw the attention of any youngsters who are interested in boat models, to the crooked-stern junk model of Fouchou. This has been on exhibition for some time but its position was not well lighted and it was difficult really to appreciate what an interesting and unique model it is. It was given to President Roosevelt in 1941 by Sir Frederick Maze, K.C.M.G., K.B.E., who was for many years Inspector General of Chinese Maritime Customs. Sir Frederick had it built in China under the supervision of George C.L. Worcester, river inspector, who also built the only other model of this kind for the Maze collection of junk models in the Science Museum in London.

My husband's letter of thanks is exhibited with the model and he was very proud to have it in his collection.

The crooked-stern junks carry salt from Fouchou, at the mouth of the Kung-t'an (a tributary of the Upper Yangtze), up the turbulent waters of the Kung-t'an for more than 200 miles. The unusual crooked stern enables the vessel to use two very long sweeps. The junks are about 70 feet long, and their design has apparently not been changed in many centuries. The carpenters who make them have no drawings or plans for their guidance and use only two tools—an axe and an ancient type of auger. Since this vessel is used in a remote region of China, it is little known to the outside world and is quite different from the more familiar junks seen along the coastal regions of China.

I am sure this model will be fascinating to every youngster because every detail is so accurate. The bunks are in the deckhouse, and a table complete with tiny rice bowls, teakettle, and chopsticks is on deck. There also is a Chinese kitchen reproduced in miniature. I draw this to the young people's attention because I am so grateful to Sir Frederick Maze and because I think this junk gives us a picture of the life of some of the people in the world about whom we know too little.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 26, 1950

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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.