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

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PARIS, Wednesday —Let's pick up our story from yesterday with more about Roubaix, the ancestral home of the Delano family. In this rather large industrial city everywhere, it seemed, mention was made of what my husband and his policies had stood for and how much his voice had meant during the hard days of the occupation.

The population of Nord Department, in which Roubaix is located, consists largely of workers in the textile industry and many of them, interestingly enough, have a tie with Woonsocket, RI, because some of the industrialists have mills in both places. One little girl came up to me and said she had been born in Woonsocket and was an American.

There is one interesting housing experiment in which the workers and employers have cooperated. A fairly large building project, it is situated on the outskirts of Roubaix. A representative of the workers greeted me there at a house almost in the center of the development called, "Children's House."

The building houses a clinic where children and their mothers come regularly for consultation and vaccinations and where general care and supervision are given. Upstairs there is a well-equipped kitchen where classes in home economics are held, and they also have classes in sewing and other home arts. The walls of the rooms are decorated with children's paintings, which looked to me much same as they would in any similar exhibition in the United States.

After Roubaix we visited Lille, capital of the department. My greatest regret was that we did not have time to go to the art museum, which has, I think the second best collection of paintings in France. But in such a crowded day I could not expect to visit the art museum, too.

In Lille we were received by the prefecture of the department as well as the mayor of Lille. Everywhere people were so kind, and in spite of rain and sleet and snow they stood in the streets to watch our little procession of cars go by and waved to us in a most friendly fashion. Invited officials crowded every ceremony and we were offered so much hospitality in the way of food and drink and such kindness was shown us that I was deeply touched.

In each town there is a monument to the dead of World Wars I and II and to those who were deported and died in Germany. At each of these monuments we placed flowers.

The last engagement of our day was a short visit to the wing of a hospital in Lille. At present it cares primarily for tubercular cases and works to rehabilitate them there and then place them in jobs. This retraining goes on in most modern classrooms and workshops and is taught usually by former patients who have become experts in various trades and can prove that a patient can lead a normal and self-sustaining existence.

The management of this part of the hospital training is in the hands of a man who has been an invalid since he was 18. He propels himself in a wheelchair, lying almost flat, and when he does get upright he can walk only a few steps at a time. Yet the doctors praised the way in which he ran his rehabilitation part of the hospital and said he did a remarkable piece of work.

Back on the plane flying to Paris we thought over our day and I was glad to find my granddaughter was not worn out and had been as interested as I had been. I was deeply grateful, too, to Mr. Maurice Schumann, who had gone about with me all day and who must been somewhat as weary as I was.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Paris (France) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 24, 1952

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.