Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: February 8-14

February 14, 1957

“MODESTO, Calif.—I am seeing new areas of the U.S. on this trip that I have not seen before. Pasco where I spoke last Monday night at a state junior college is a growing industrial town. Not far away at Richland is one of the new areas being developed as a big atomic plant in an enormous tract of land which was waste land. It has been taken over and they have built 15 miles of railroad and 250 miles of road in it. Some of the young men working there are taking courses at the college. There is also the first dam being built on the Snake River. This is one of Senator Magnussen’s special interests and we were driven out to see it. There will be more dams to follow and it will develop power and make navigation possible which would mean a great deal in this whole area.

It seemed to me as I looked at the land that a good deal which is now desert must at some time have been grazing land. At present it would be well if they would plant a good deal of the land in trees. There are no trees anywhere. Their rainfall is only about 7 inches and while there will be irrigation from some of the dams being built, I would think the planting of trees in this area was of paramount importance.”