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October 23, 1944
“HYDE PARK, Sunday—Yesterday I accompanied my husband on his trip around New York. It is a long time since we have done anything of this kind. In spite of the bad weather, it was an interesting experience, and I was glad that the President had this stimulating drive and could attend the rally for Senator Wagner.
The luncheon Friday for the Democratic National Committee was made really delightful by Clifton Fadiman, who presided and, in addition, made a very eloquent speech. In the afternoon, I enjoyed the exhibition at the Vanderbilt Gallery very much. There are some very interesting portraits and pieces of sculpture included. Jo Davidson has made a tremendous head of the President which faces you as you go in, and is enlarged from the small one. Both are remarkable likenesses. The whole back of the room is a photographic story of the nearly twelve years that now lie behind the Roosevelt administration. For once, statistics are not dry, since they are accompanied by very illuminating and interesting photographs.”
Sunday, October 24, 2010
1935 AND THE ENDURING NEW DEAL:
The Works Progress Administration
and the Rural Electrification Administration
Location: Henry A. Wallace Center
Time: 2:00 p.m.
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the enactment of the Social Security Act, the Works Progress Administration, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Rural Electrification Administration, the FDR Presidential Library and Museum and the Roosevelt Institute present “1935 and the Enduring New Deal,” a series of free public forums in the fall of 2010.
This program will examine the historical impact of the WPA and REA’s infrastructure programs, current efforts to document and preserve New Deal projects, and the lessons that can be learned from these programs for modern America.
October 21, 1960
“NEW YORK—As we watch the Presidential campaign unroll, I wonder how many have noticed one rather interesting change in the modern type of campaign. This was brought to my attention the other day when a young newspaper reporter said to me: “Do you really think that the decision as to a man’s fitness for the office of President should depend, in part at least, on what kind of a President’s wife his wife will be?”
I looked at her in surprise for a moment, because it had not dawned on me what changes had come about since Mr. Eisenhower’s first campaign.
Apparently we have started on a new trend. I can’t remember in my husband’s campaign, nor in Mr. Truman’s, that such a question could be asked. Some of the children or I would accompany my husband on the various campaign trips, and if we were around at railroad stops he would introduce us to the crowd in a rather casual manner. He often said, “My little boy, Jimmy,” when Jimmy was as tall as he was!
My husband insisted always that a man stood on his own record. He did not bring his family in to be responsible in getting him votes or in taking the blame for his decisions. I think he sometimes found it amusing to let me do things just so as to find out what the reaction of the public would be. But nothing we did was ever calculated and thought out as part of the campaign in the way we feel that Mr. Nixon plans every appearance with his wife.
There must be times when the whole situation becomes practically unbearable, I would think, for the woman of the family. And I hope that we will return to the old and rather pleasanter way of looking upon White House families as people who have a right to their own lives.
The wives, of course, have certain official obligations, but they are certainly not responsible for their husband’s policies. And they do not have to feel that sense of obligation at every point to uphold the ideas of the man of the family.
With so many people around a President who say “yes” to everything he says, it is fun sometimes for the family around him to say “no” just for the sake of devilment—but that should be a private family relaxation.”
October 15, 1933: FDR gives address on the mobilization for human needs.
October 9, 1950
“HYDE PARK, Sunday—On Friday we met in Committee Three both morning and afternoon, when I tried, entirely without success, to explain to the rest of the committee the position of the United States on long-range and continuing activities to help the needs of children throughout the world.
In the case of many countries, these needs have existed for hundreds of years, and will continue to exist for many more years unless the basic economy of those countries can be improved. Many countries now in need of things for their children sympathized with the original establishment of the Children’s Emergency Fund and its operations, even though the fund operated primarily in Europe in countries that had suffered from World War II. The countries of Asia, Africa and South America, though they recognized that conditions for children in European countries were normally far superior to those of children in some other parts of the world, still were able to sympathize with these needs because they, themselves, had existed under these sad conditions for hundreds of years.
Now some countries, including my own, feel that the emergency brought about by World War II has in many countries come to an end. The problem now is how best the U.N. can help the world’s children to obtain more food, better medical care, better education and perhaps better legislation within their own countries for the protection of children in the field of labor. This being the case, the United States has emphasized that, in the establishment of a permanent fund, its main interest today does not lie alone in sending supplies.
Many countries, however, can envision their needs only in terms of supply. For instance, country X needs milk for its children. It thinks only in terms of obtaining so many cases of powdered milk from the United Nations fund. The immediate need clouds the realization that, while it is important to receive that milk this year, it is equally important that a project be set up to help country X produce that milk next year themselves.
Two of the things which my government, through the State Department, is trying to emphasize is that the board of the fund—which will now be the United Nations Children’s Endowment Fund—should have on it the representatives of the specialized agencies which should be called upon to pass on the need and the value of each permanent project undertaken for the future; and that these projects should be aimed at helping a country to produce its own supplies.”
October 4, 1945
“NEW YORK, Wednesday—For a long time I have wanted to draw attention to the remarkable contribution made by the trained nurses of the United States in this war. Just lately I came across an article that gives some figures and facts which I think should reach as many people as possible. Over 100,000 of the 242,500 active professional nurses volunteered and were certified for the Army and Navy nursing service. There has been a larger number of war service volunteers from the nursing profession than from any other profession. This is not strange, of course, since nursing is naturally the field where trained women would be called upon to a greater extent than from any other field.
I think we should not forget, however, that when this large percentage of our trained nursing force was taken out of civilian life, the burden borne by those left at their usual occupations was increased by almost 50 percent.
* * *
Army and Navy nurses are still on duty in every branch of the service. As of June 30, 1945, 65,216 were still on duty with the services. It is interesting to note the sources from which these nurses were drawn—64 percent of them came from institutions and hospitals, and that is why there has been the great need for volunteers in those same institutions at home during the war. Seventeen percent came from private duty, and anyone who has been forced to have a private nurse in the last few years can readily believe that and perhaps wonder why the percentage is not higher! Five percent came from Public Health; three percent from the comparatively new field of industrial nursing, and the remainder from scattered sources.
Awards and citations have already been bestowed on 964 Army and Navy nurses. I hope that some general recognition can be given to the nurses who served in the war, and that more of those whose jobs were hard and grinding, if not particularly spectacular, will receive some special recognition. For instance, I think of the nurses who moved into the concentration camps of Europe to care for the poor creatures who had spent such long and horrible days under very bad conditions. The working and living conditions must have been horrible for the nurses as well.”