My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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RIVER FALLS, Wis. Tuesday —The model United Nations Assembly which I attended at Winfield, Kan., on Monday was largely sponsored by one clergyman and it included "delegates" from all the schools of the neighboring area.

At 9:30 Monday morning I was on a panel with representatives from a number of foreign countries, who came from their Embassies to take part in this really great occasion. It gave young and old alike from miles around the opportunity to meet representatives from faraway countries, to ask them questions, and to get their opinions and views. This was a real movement to reach the grass roots with information about the U.N.

We were met Sunday night at what was 10:30 local time but 12:30 by our time and were brought to a very pleasant motel near Wellington, Kan., for the night. On Monday we shuttled back and forth to high schools and auditoriums in different areas for gatherings of various kinds. The day ended with an evening speech by me about the U.N., followed by a question period.

On Sunday morning in New York I had a young Bulgarian come to breakfast with me. He is only 20 years old and has been a wanderer on the face of the earth since he was 16. His English is remarkably good, considering the fact that he knew no English as recently as last November. Now he understands well, but occasionally finds it difficult to think of the right word to express himself.

He must find work to support himself but he also wants an education. The only place where he has been allowed to stay and work for any length of time was Paris, so he speaks a little French as well.

There is a quality of determination in this youth who wants to be free and to make something of his life and to live in America. This determination comes through even the natural shyness of a man in a foreign country who is dealing with a language he is trying painfully and quickly to master.

I hope he finds a job where he can both work and study and that he continues to live among friends. The record of the past four years gives me the feeling that he has known enough loneliness to last him for the rest of his life.

I had a few other guests for luncheon and in the late afternoon Miss Maureen Corr and I took a plane out of foggy Idlewild Airport for Wichita, Kan. In a short time we were above the clouds in the sunshine and when we landed first in Kansas City and then in Wichita we had a lovely, clear half-moon shining down on us.

I wonder if my readers will be as surprised as I was to hear that the entire battlefield area at Gettysburg is not preserved by our country. I thought, of course, that it belonged to our national monuments.

Instead, according to a letter I have just received, the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, a private organization started in August, 1863, by David McConaughy of Gettysburg, is appealing for help from the American poeple.

The battlefield committee must buy surrounding lands to preserve the character of the memorial, as these lands are at present under negotiation for sale for residential development. This property should not be in private hands any longer, but should be transferred to the National Park Service which cares for the greater portion of our national monuments.


(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • River Falls (Wis., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 4, 1960

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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