My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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CHICAGO —At the Women's Democratic Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., at which I spoke on Monday, a tribute was paid by all the women present to Mr. Dulles' courage and dedication to his work. Nobody who has watched him in the last few years could doubt that he was working for what he believed in and working with everything he had to give. He fought his illness valiantly and the sympathy of all women will go to Mrs. Dulles and her children in their sad personal loss.

On my way down to Washington I was able to read some material that had been sent me on a bill in Congress, HR 134, sponsored by Rep. Eugene J. Keogh of New York. I have written about this bill before because it seems to me to deal fairly with handicapped people and at the same time to give them an incentive to become self-supporting.

When one is severely handicapped there must be a great temptation to give up and simply become a burden upon the community and your friends and relatives. But one of the most encouraging things we can observe is to see how few people really want to do this.

When it is made possible for the severely handicapped to obtain employment, they are often more faithful in reaching their jobs than a well person might be, perhaps because they know how difficult it would be to get another job. Congressman Keogh's bill would grant an additional tax exemption and certain deductions for these people. They would be permitted allowances for getting to and from work; exemptions for orthopedic and prosthetic devices; and a little more exemption for the purchase and repair of these things, as well as for clothes which undergo greater wear and tear if one uses braces and crutches.

These would be straight income-tax deductions and would rectify some of the handicaps that were not considered in a bill, already passed, that took into consideration certain medical aspects. I hope very much that Congressman Keogh's bill will pass in this session. It pays the taxpayer to help people to help themselves.

On Saturday night of last week I was privileged to be the guest of honor at the founders' dinner for the Institute of Cancer Reseach which the American Medical Center at Denver, Colo. has kindly named after me. Senator Richard L. Neuberger spoke out of his own recent experience of the great value of research, and Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. pointed out that what we did here could have value all over the world.

This research institute will be working in close cooperation with the University of Colorado and will have unique opportunities for the observation of patients, since the hospital provides free hospitalization to victims of cancer in all stages for an unlimited time.

I felt that I wanted to thank particularly Faye Emerson who was master of ceremonies, Marian Anderson, Jerry Lewis and Ralph Bellamy, who all contributed of their talent and made the dinner a most enjoyable and interesting occasion.


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

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Chicago (Ill., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 27, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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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.