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


NEW YORK, Tuesday—The Children's Bureau celebrated its 40th anniversary the other day and I thought it was very interesting to see what changes have come about in that period.

A survey in 1915 showed that 100 babies died during their first year out of every 1,000 born alive. In 1950 there were only 29 baby deaths out of every 1,000 born alive. Today only nine mothers die in child-bearing in every 10,000 live births, but in 1915 61 mothers died for every 10,000 live births. Forty years ago many diseases that we could not control took a heavy toll among our children, but today we do not expect children to die from whooping cough, scarlet fever, smallpox or typhoid fever.

Looking backward is only useful when it gives us an incentive for going forward, and I thought it characteristic of Dr. Martha M. Eliot, who is Chief of the Children's Bureau, to look forward to 1992 and tell us what she hopes will be achieved before the next 40 years have been passed.

She took cognizance of the world in which we live, however, when she said: "At no time in the history of this nation has it been as important to raise a generation with a balanced, calm outlook on life, who have trust in themselves and in their fellow beings. This is the only sure foundation for world peace and security."

That is absolutely true and it is quite evident that each nation must try to achieve this for itself. But it is only fair to realize that unless many nations attain these objectives, our success alone will be of no value.

There are still a number of people in this country who look at everything from the point of view of how much can we do for ourselves and how little for other people, which is short-sighted, to say the least.

Many of my readers often write and ask why we show so much concern about conditions in other parts of the world when conditions are not perfect here at home. The reason one has to be concerned, however, about other parts of the world is that under modern conditions every corner of the globe has been drawn closer together. If there is real suffering and deprivation anywhere in the world we are bound to find it reflected in the conditions that control us wherever we live.

We can be proud of what we have accomplished here at home but, even as we congratulate ourselves, we must realize that in the world of today no nation progresses alone, nor does any nation suffer alone. That was why, with the long view ahead, the United Nations was created and it is why, if we really want to progress during the next 40 years, we will have to work hard within the United Nations and strengthen international cooperation. Only in that way can we really hope that the next 40 years will be as fruitful as the past 40, of which we are so proud.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 16, 1952

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)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
    [ ISNI ]
  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ISNI ]
  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]

Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

XML master last modified on June 9, 2017.

HTML version generated and published on May 3, 2022.

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