My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ST. PAUL, Minn., Tuesday—On Sunday morning we reached Madison, Wis., early enough to have lunch in one of the University of Wisconsin dining rooms. They have a very fine Students' Union building there, perhaps one of the finest I have seen anywhere. They use it for cultural as well as social activities and much of the art work of the students, as well as art loans from other exhibitions, are to be seen in the different lounges. They have craft classes and lectures of various kinds and guest rooms and cafeteria and restaurant facilities.

The big auditorium holds a large number of people, so they are able to give students and faculty, as well as members of the community, an opportunity to take part in any activities carried on there.

The tradition of Madison has been for many years a liberal one, and I found the university one of the least affected by the current nervous strain that seems to exist in almost all universities at the present time.

At two o'clock I met with the local volunteer organization concerned with human rights. There is an official State Human Rights Committee, but on the city level some groups are made up of volunteers, as this one is. All of them are doing good work and the effort to eliminate all racial and religious tensions seems to be widely spread in these middle states.

This meeting was followed by a press conference during which there was no lack of questions and at four o'clock I gave my lecture. This was followed by a half-hour question period and again the questions showed real interest in the subject of the United Nations. Each of the speeches I am giving on my little trip is on "The U.N. and Our Part in It," because that was the subject chosen by the universities and colleges.

I am happy to have it so, since I hope the increased interest means a willingness really to study the activities of the U.N. and if this is done, it will furnish a good basis for refuting the attacks made on this international organization.

We had dinner at six o'clock with the student committee and, of course, that meant more questions. Then I attended an informal reception at which I was delighted to see Prof. and Mrs. William G. Rice. Professor Rice's parents, who lived in Albany when we went there as a young couple, were more than kind because they knew my husband's mother. It was always pleasant to have glimpses of their son and his wife in Albany, in New York City and last year in Paris, but those occasions never came too frequently because of Professor Rice's teaching duties here.

We made our train a little before 10 o'clock and arrived Monday morning in Minneapolis. The 40-mile drive from Minneapolis to Northfield and St. Olaf's College was rather hazardous, but Minnesota drivers are accustomed to slippery conditions and we made the trip in good time. We had the pleasure of attending the morning chapel service and of hearing the St. Olaf choir sing. It is a wonderful choir and deservedly well known. In fact, the music department here is considered excellent.

Since this is an Evangelical Lutheran College many of the boys are preparing for the ministry or for teaching, but there is a good Chemistry Department and many other students go in for medicine or science.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Saint Paul (Minn., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 21, 1953

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.