First Lady Asks Protection for Draft Families (10-25-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 25, 1940)

By Ruby Black, United Press Staff Writer

Washington, Oct. 25 –

Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt said today that all American communities should organize their resources to make sure that there will be no suffering among the families of men called for military-training.

She said she could understand the worries of such families because “we haven’t organized our communities to see that nobody suffers.” She added that the government is “busy with other things and hasn’t got around to that yet.”

We have a variety of organizations. We could call a meeting of all of them – men and women – and ask what time each could give to training of any kind. Then we could canvass what needs o be done in the community could keep the standard of living at its normal level.

Taking the case of a man with a wife and two small children as a particular example, she said:

Perhaps, the wife is a school teacher, and could get a job, or perhaps she could be trained to work. But she could not leave her little children alone while she was in training or at work. If the community were well-organized, it would have a way of taking care of the children while their mother gets training and a job.

Mrs. Roosevelt said she could well understand how the families of some of the men would be “worried to death about the year they are to be away,” for many of the young men never have been away from home before, and their families have no money to visit them in the camps to which they will sent.