Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day columns are an endless source of inspiration to many. We hope these samples from her new year’s writings will resonate for 2017.
On the lighter side, please enjoy these illustrations from the Culinary Institute of America‘s collection of New Year’s Eve menus.
January 1, 1938: “…resolve to keep your hopes. But add to your resolve self-sacrifice, a determination to work hard, not always for personal gain. Above all, to preserve a sense of humor and of proportion in the business of living.”
January 1, 1940: “…I hope that in the course of this coming year we will come measurably closer to peace, for peace is the prelude to all the other changes which must come if the great mass of people throughout the world are to look forward to greater happiness. ….with goodwill and real determination, we should be able to find some real solutions, if we begin now to prepare our minds and hearts and go about our work unselfishly and with determination and faith in the ways of democracy.”
January 2, 1950: “One of the questions most frequently asked is: “What can I do to help bring peace into the world?
“It seems to me that New Year’s is a good day to try to think that question out. Surely, we can do nothing outside of our own sphere of influence, and that sphere is not likely, for the most part, to touch directly into the field of government or world affairs. Nevertheless, if we have eyes to see we can so live in our own surroundings that we will pull our friends and our community to a greater sense of obligation to make democracy succeed in order that it may help to bring about peace in the world.”
January 1, 1951: “In coping with the immediate problems facing us, we must not forget to look with care at the basic difficulties in the world. Starvation, lack of shelter, lack of clothing, lack of opportunity to enjoy life—these are the things that bring the world to the edge of doom today. …. People must hope for a better life before we can hope for any permanent peace.”
January 1, 1954: “For the new year, I think we must all have a collective wish for a more peaceful world and personally hope that we may in some way contribute to whatever efforts are made for peace throughout the world.”
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, housed at George Washington University, offers resources for teachers and has digitized Mrs. Roosevelt’s columns and other materials. My Day can be searched here by keyword.
Menus are from The Culinary Institute of America’s Archives and Special Collections. They are available at Hudson River Valley Heritage (HRVH), a digital library coordinated by Southeastern NY Library Resources Council.
HRVH provides free access to materials from libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies in Columbia, Greene, Dutchess, Ulster, Sullivan, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester counties.