My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DETROIT—I have told you very little about the current trip which I am taking. It is a lecture trip that began last Monday morning in Niles, Michigan.

I travelled early Sunday evening to Chicago, where we slept overnight, and then took a train in the morning into Niles where I was speaking under the auspices of the international relations chairman of the Niles Musical Club. People came from a number of surrounding areas for the lecture, but as I arrived in town for an early lunch I was invited to attend the Rotary Club meeting where some high-school seniors were reporting on their experiences in a mock United Nations General Assembly meeting.

These students certainly had been well prepared by their faculty advisor. They represented Ghana, and I was amazed by the highly perceptive report given by a girl on this new African state. The others who reported different phases of the meeting did very well, too, and I came away with the feeling that in this high school there was a professor who knew how to make the most of this experience for the young people.

It encouraged me in my general feeling that the generation now growing up is going to be far better informed than we of the older generation are. And for this we have to thank having the U.N. in our own country and the encouragement which the American Association for the U.N. can give to many young people in taking part in such discussions.

After listening to their reports I had a press conference and then was free for dinner at 6:00 p.m., after which I spoke for an hour and answered questions for half an hour. At 10:44 p.m. we took a train to Battle Creek and we reached our hotel there at 12:30 a.m., where we found two ladies who had driven over from Flint waiting for us. They broke the news that we must be ready to leave at 7:30 the next morning. We found we could have breakfast at 7:00 in the coffee shop at the hotel and we agreed to meet there.

We began the next day by getting up at 6:15 and then driving to Flint where I spoke at the Junior League Town Hall at 10:30 a.m. This was an hour's lecture and we proceeded from there to a luncheon, after which I answered questions from 1:30 to 2:30.

Mrs. James Burroughs kindly took us to her home afterwards and she and her husband drove us into Detroit that afternoon. It was more than kind of them, for they had to turn around and motor back immediately but it did make it easier for us to get off by air the next morning at 8:30 a.m. for Indianapolis.

I had the pleasure of having my niece, Mrs. Eleanor Elliott, and her friend, Mrs. Richard Thomas, come into Detroit to dine with us. This was fun and a break in being greeted by large crowds and being met by a big brown envelope containing mail and sitting down and reading it and dictating. After this chore we slept for as many hours as were left us.

We left the hotel at 7:30 for the Metropolitan Airport in Detroit and made our plane very easily Wednesday morning. In Indianapolis we were met and driven to Muncie, Indiana, where I spoke at 2:10 p.m. under the auspices of the Ball State Teachers' College. The auditorium was filled and the loudspeakers operated outside and in four other rooms. The warmth of these past days made me rather envious of those who could sit out on the lawn and listen.

I had a chance in Muncie to meet the foreign students and to hold a press conference. Mr. and Mrs. Victor B. Lawhead were most kind in meeting us and entertaining us at lunch and giving us a chance for rest and work. In the evening we had an informal dinner with Dr. and Mrs. Richard Burkhardt, after which we motored to Dayton, Ohio.

I must tell you of a letter from a convict in Marquette, Michigan, which has just come to me. He begs me to ask that among the many days and weeks that are observed we have an observance for orphans. He is keenly aware, evidently, of the hardships that surround a child who has to grow up as an orphan and he would like to have all of them adopted into good families who would love them. I don't know if a day or a week would bring this about, but I do know that this man's concern for the orphan should be recognized by every American, We should see to it that no child in our midst lacks for care and love.


(Copyright, 1959, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Detroit (Mich., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 8, 1959

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.