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


NEW YORK, Tuesday—It is always interesting to see how the people of this country respond when the people of Great Britain are in great trouble. The King's illness is a personal grief to many of the people of England and the anxiety for his life and future health is felt in every home there. Over here there is great sympathy. The front page of every newspaper carries the latest bulletins and you see people everywhere watching for them, and you feel their real concern.

This is a good omen for the real friendship that exists between the two countries and all of us hope that the King will recover, and be spared to his people for many more years to come.

It is astounding that the newspapers have to keep on urging the people to respond to the appeal by the Red Cross for blood. There must be plenty of people who could take a half hour off, even at lunchtime, and go into a center and do this little chore. It is not painful and it has no aftereffects.

I used to go regularly during World War II until the unfortunate day when I went as usual and an embarrassed attendent asked me if I had not had my sixtieth birthday a few days before. When I replied in the affirmative and still did not understand the implication, she looked more embarrassed and said, "You can no longer donate blood."

Giving one's blood was quite the easiest service that one could render. And today I cannot understand why the desire to help the wounded, whether in Korea or in cases of accident anywhere, does not inspire every person able to do so to give their blood regularly.

In New York City on Monday I arrived just in time to be met by representatives of the National Council of Jewish Women in Great Neck, Long Island. We had a very brief lunch and then I went out to Great Neck to speak on Human Rights at their meeting. It was a crowded session and I thought it was interesting to see young and old gathered together in one hall. There were children and older people and that speaks well for the interest of the whole community in human rights.

Early in the afternoon I had a meeting with a writer who is about to finish a book about my husband and which was written for young people.

Later I spent an hour with a group of French workers brought over by the ECA to study working conditions and working methods in this country. The questions from these workers showed careful observation about conditions in this country and a real desire to gain a greater understanding of our ideals.

They asked the usual questions on race relations. It is hard for any of us to understand how much harm our attitude on race relations has done us in the eyes of other people.

One of the women told me that she had come to this country with a belief that no American woman did any work! She entirely changed her mind about that after seeing women in factories doing the same work as men, but she was anxious to know what happened to the children while their mothers worked.

The condition, however, seems to me much the same in France as it is here. There is very little to be said about working mothers of small children except that it is unfortunate when they have to go to work. It isn't any better here, when conditions are such that mothers and fathers both have to go to work, than it is anywhere else in the world.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 26, 1951

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
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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.