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

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Boston Mass. , Tuesday—Yesterday morning we rose really early and went over to John and Anne's new apartment on Beacon Street to have breakfast and to see the baby. It is a real test, I think, of people's dispositions when you breakfast with them and they can greet you pleasantly. Anne has found an apartment with such beautiful sunny rooms that the baby can lie and sun at his window.

Miss Thompson and I left at 9:30 for Framingham, Mass., and here we spent an interesting two-and-a-half hours seeing the women's prison. Dr. Miriam Van Waters seems to have the power of making people feel that here is a great opportunity to learn and, if they take it, they may profit by it just as they would any other opportunity for acquiring knowledge anywhere.

She has, of course, every variety of "student", as she calls them. They really are students. Some of them learn how to live decently for the first time, some of them learn that erudition is not real knowledge and that people who have little opportunity for academic education can often teach them something valuable.

The prison industries were interesting to me, for I had not realized that the flags for the Army and the Navy, as well as for the State of Massachusetts, were largely made by the women in this institution. The state flags are painted by hand and I should think they would require a certain amount of skill to produce absolutely correctly. There is also a clothing shop, a poultry business and a cannery. For some strange reason, the dairy is counted as maintenance and not as an industry, probably because they provide their own milk and do not sell to other institutions.

Two new buildings are a great contrast to the original one, which is fairly old. They are of the cottage type. One houses a group of young people —— 17 to 21 years old— the other a group of mothers with their babies. Here child care is taught, and if the healthy looking youngsters I saw are a criterion of the efficiency of what the mothers learn in this particular course, then one can say that they are being well trained.

Mr. Lyman, the Welfare Commisioner, was with us through the morning and also some of the board visitors. A little after 1:00 o'clock I left very reluctantly to make a plane for New York City.

By 7:00 we were on the President's train in the MottHaven yards. Mrs. Helm, Miss Thompson and Major Hooker were with me. We dined and I had a chance to see the President and then we went ahead to Madison Square Garden, for we wanted to hear as many of the speakers preceeding the President as possible. It seemed to us a very good meeting. Though the President was worried about the new development in Europe, I think he enjoyed the opportunity of talking to this big audience as well as the unseen one over the air.

Back to Boston on the night train, breakfast again with Johnny and now we are off to spend the night in Limerick, Maine, with Mr. and Mrs. John Cutter.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Boston (Mass., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 30, 1940

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
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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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.