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

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HYDE PARK.—It is tragic to see our relations with Cuba deteriorating every day, yet if Cuba has viewed her own actions realistically, she must have expected this would happen.

Governments that do not wish to take military action against another country must resort to economic pressures unless they can come to an amicable adjustment of their difficulties. In this case, there has been no evidence on the part of Cuba that she wanted to reach some adjustment with the United States.

We may have been at fault in our previous relations with the Cuban government, but certainly the President has had forbearance since the Castro revolution.

Seizure of more and more American property may be an outlet for the annoyance that Cuban leaders feel toward the U.S., but in the long run it will mean disaster to the Cuban economy because of the loss of profits they received from American enterprises on the island.

I have received a sad letter on the subject of integrated housing in New York City. It was written to an apartment-house owner by a white woman who is married to a Negro and tells of their difficulties in finding a decent place to live.

The woman found an available apartment and, after going through it carefully with the owner and his wife, decided to take it. Before bringing her husband to see it, she telephoned to make sure it was still available. The answer was "Yes," and then she and her husband went to the apartment to make final arrangments.

When the owner saw the woman with her husband, he slammed the door in their faces. Then he opened it a crack and, with a heavy accent, said, "Ya, der place vas rented." He slammed the door again.

The woman, in her letter to the owner, wrote: "Why the sudden change of heart, Mr. S.? Was it because you saw my husband was a Negro? Was it because you did not have enough nerve to say, `We do not rent to Negroes'?"

This bitter letter ended with the sentence: "Dear God, wherever you may be, if you are listening, please help us to help ourselves before it is too late."

The woman is right. We must help ourselves, for God must look on with frustration when we, his children, behave so cruelly to each other. He gave us free will and some of us use it in a way that brings only shame and discomfort.

I enjoyed spending some time on Wednesday with a group of social studies teachers at the Long Island branch of the State University of New York. The institution is situated on the grounds of the Coe Estate and I rarely have been a more beautifully landscaped place. The branch shortly will be moving to the new buildings at Stonybrook, but I hope the land on which it is now situated will be used for a good purpose, for it is so attractively planted.

I flew to Washington late Wednesday afternoon to attend a most successful Stevenson rally. Some three thousand persons gathered there and presented petitions from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

There was great enthusiasm for Adlai Stevenson, and I only hope these supporters will register their feelings with their delegates at the Los Angeles convention.

I returned to Hyde Park Thursday morning where I had the pleasure of having Prof. and Mrs. Lawrence Fuchs of Brandeis University and their three children as guests, as well as my uncle, David Gray, who is here, I hope, for an extended visit.


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

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 9, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.