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

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NEW YORK—Everywhere I go these days I get inquiries as to what my feeling is about the Salk vaccine. The only answer, as far as I can see, is that this vaccine is our hope to do away with the danger of polio. Unfortunately, however, the Federal government had not prepared beforehand to lay down the rules for inspection of production.

For some reason it was not possible before making the announcement of the new discovery to wait until there was a sufficient supply on hand to provide all the vaccine needed and to have the plan of the Federal government completed as to how inspection and distribution could go on.

The Federal government dislikes taking a step like this, but it might be well to realize that when so great a number of children is involved all over the country the task is so big as to require Federal control and regulation.

Now there is uncertainty and confusion but in the end I am sure the Federal government will do its share, the states will do their share, and the children will be safeguarded.

One feels sorry for the scientists who would have liked to work quietly until they were sure all their experiments had been completed and all arrangements made. But we are always a nation in a hurry and it was understandable that we were in a hurry to end as far as possible the threat of polio.

There will be disappointments, for it is impossible this season to administer all adequate safeguards. At least, that is the impression one gets from reading the day-to-day reports in the newspapers, but there is hope for the future and that is a comforting thought.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon visiting a cooperative community—a place called White Meadow Lake in Rockaway, N. J. The manager of this community is an immigrant from Sweden and hopes eventually to build it along the lines of many of the Swedish cooperative groups.

This particular part of New Jersey is a wooded area of hills and lakes. The houses are charming, neither too big nor pretentious, and nestled among trees and delightfully landscaped.

Every resident of White Meadow Lake pays a cooperative fee for which the beaches around the lake are kept in order and the sport facilities of the area are developed, and some cultural programs are being carried on. There are tennis courts, baseball diamonds, basketball fields, and arrangements for day camps for the children through the summer, which must be a great relief for their elders.

Youngsters between the ages of five and 17 may spend the whole morning and the afternoon fully occupied in a variety of ways and under supervision, returning only to their homes for lunch and supper. A bus picks up the children, takes them back for lunch and bring them home in the late afternoon. A member of the board of directors told me that he thought the day would come when they would also have a camp for the smaller children.

In a project such as White Meadow Lake there must be certain rules and regulations, of course, but on the whole this community, which started as a summer community but now has 200 all-year-round residents, is developing very fast and very satisfactorily.

(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 14, 1955

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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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.