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Morgantown Dominion News
September 26, 1960

Eleanor Roosevelt Cites Ike's Failure

Kept Public 'In Dark' - She Claims

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt said Saturday the great failure of President Eisenhower was in not educating the people and that Sen. John F. Kennedy would succeed, if elected, where Eisenhower failed.

"How many times have we been told by the President what the conditions of the world really are?" Mrs. Roosevelt asked. She said his failure had been in not one but three kinds of education - economic, cultural and moral.

"We need education from the President of the United States and we will get that if Kennedy is President," she continued. "We have lacked total understanding and have failed in our translation to our people of what is happening in the world."

Mrs. Roosevelt returned to this area, which she first knew during the worst years of the Depression when her husband was President, to speak at a statewide campaign planning conference of Democratic women. After her speech she visited Arthurdale (see additional story Page 1), where poverty-stricken miners were resettled in a model community in 1934.

Her criticism of Eisenhower was not confined to what she regarded as his failure to inform the public.

"Eisenhower wants peace," she said, "but doesn't know how to achieve it. You must know what your objectives are and then know how to work toward those objectives."

Sen. Jennings Randolph, (D-W. Va.) introduced Mrs. Roosevelt with this description: "She is gracious in her living, generous in her giving and great in her service."

In remarks prepared for delivery at the conference, Randolph said:

"I strongly disagree with Mr. Nixon's allegation that the area redevelopment measure - which the President vetoed - was a 'use of the shotgun of politics instead of national interest.'

"The vice president's assertion that 'no responsible President could have approved' the bill which would have provided aid for depressed areas is proof that the Republican candidate for President has no more understanding of and no more sympathy for the real needs of West Virginia and other states with chronic labor surplus areas than does the present occupant of the White House."

Barron, in prepared remarks said he was confident that if the election returns the Democrats to the statehouse, they can, "by cooperating with - rather than cursing for political advantage - a great Democratic Legislature...obtain the additional funds and new programs we need to build a better West Virginia."

Thousands Greet Mrs. FDR at Arthurdale

The gracious elderly lady turned her thoughts back many years, to when the United States was passing through one of its blackest periods and her husband was in his first day as its President.

She was back at Arthurdale, as good a symbol as any of 1934 and one with very special meaning for her.

"We made many mistakes in the first planning of this project, but I do believe we helped people to help themselves," Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt said, looking back over it all during her brief visit here Saturday night.

Arthurdale was one of three experiments under the early New Deal to give down-and-out families a home and a piece of land to work so they could support themselves at least in part. Mrs. Roosevelt had taken a special interest in it, had been in fact, one of its founders.

A lot had happened to both her and Arhturdale since she was a relatively unknown first lady and its people, unemployed coal miners and their families, were judged to be among the worst off in the country - and at a time when there were 15 million other unemployed.

The federal government, which bought the land and provided the homes, pulled out altogether in 1945. Now the small community, not far from Morgantown, is little different from many others of its size.

Mrs. Roosevelt came back because she was asked to take part in the dedication of a new church, the community Presbyterian Church. About 550 people were there to greet her.

For some of them it was not the first time.

"I saw several of the original families and they remembered me," she said afterward.

"Arthurdale," she continued, "was begun in hard times, and the people still have hard times to a great extent. But the with the cooperation and great spirit I saw tonight I am confident that this project has been and will continue to be a great success.

"As you know, Arthurdale was one of three special economic experiments, but we made so many mistakes here that I've adopted the people, and apparently they have adopted me."

"It was a very happy night."

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