My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Thursday—It was a great pleasure in Chicago early this week to meet again Porter McKeever, an old friend whom I used to see almost daily during a part of every year when we both worked at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations or at the U.N. Building. He and his wife had dinner with us and we talked over plans I have for the American Association for the U.N. and plans that he has for the World Council. The World Council in Chicago is older than the more-familiar Foreign Policy Association but they do similar jobs. They take no sides on any question but each furnishes information on foreign policy.

But all such organizations have difficulty in building up their constituency and in raising necessary operating funds. Perhaps there is some way, in the big cities especially, of achieving cooperation that would at least mean joint facilities and joint planning and make it easier for all of us. I think there would have to be a good deal of discussion before this could be worked out, however, but I distinctly felt the need for something of this kind while meeting with a number of people in Chicago.

I talked at some length with representatives from our AAUN and with others associated with the World Federalists and the World Council. In fact, all of Wednesday morning was taken up with conversation.

A group interested in the emotional disturbances of children came to see me after lunch on Wednesday. These people are interested in seeing some coordination effected between the few schools in the country that deal with emotionally disturbed children, such as Wiltwyck in New York, the school in the University of Chicago, and the few others. These people feel that cooperation and coordination will increase the effectiveness of one another.

At 5:30 Wednesday afternoon I drove out to Northwestern University where we had dinner. Later in the evening I again spoke on U.N. activities. From the university I drove to the airport to take an 11 o'clock plane. I was deeply grateful that the weather was good and as a result we arrived in New York City about three a.m. Thursday morning. This meant only a few hours of sleep, but I had almost all of Thursday in which to work! If I had been obliged to take the train I would not have arrived home until Thursday evening.

Trains give more time to read, however, and on this trip I finished a novel sent me by a lady who said she hoped I would enjoy it. It is the story of the early life of a young Russian girl, "Dawn of the Eighth Day," by Olga Ilyn. There is great charm in the description of what life was like in the days of the czar, in the city and country homes of the big landowners, particularly where the landowner was kindly and interested in his people as was the father of the heroine.

I found the description of the family with all its various characters very interesting and though perhaps there is a little too much of the social life, which was the pattern of that day, still it does give a wonderful picture of an era.

Then there came a revolution. The young girl was now a woman, married and struggling to understand herself and her husband, and at the same time groping toward a basic understanding of what love really is in the midst of chaos.

The author, I understand, now lives in San Francisco. She must be a person of charm, sensitive feeling and with a rare gift of poetic expression. This book requires leisure to read, but it will repay the time you spend on it if you like to get a picture of times past.

E. R.