July 7, 1960
NEW YORK. -- Most people who heard the broadcast of Sen. John Kennedy's reply to former President Truman must have been impressed both by what he said and the way he said it. He was most courteous to Mr. Truman.
Certainly no one could have misunderstood his statement,1 however, that he had given long thought to becoming President and, having decided to try for this place of power and responsibility, hoped to win and would not withdraw.
Senator Kennedy made a good plea for youth, and he showed from past history the part young men had played in the shaping of world events. And he noted, too, there would be young men in many of the new nations who would be cast in difficult roles in the years ahead. The Senator did not seem to be on the defensive but appeared to be a perfectly assured and confident person.
I still feel that a Stevenson-Kennedy ticket would not only be the best for the country but for our political party, too.
But as an example of what the Kennedy speech did to several people around me, one man remarked at the end of it: "Well, I hope the Democratic party wins. I am for Adlai Stevenson, but if it turns out to be Kennedy, there are many people, I think, who will support the ticket with a sense of greater assurance because they heard this press conference."
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The Soviets have announced that the young pilot of the U-2 plane will get what they call an "open trial."2 The charge, of course, will be spying, for which there is a possible death sentence.
An open trial seems to mean a public trial, and although the date has not yet been set, it will be interesting to see how it is conducted and the sentence finally arrived at.
I believe that the Soviets will make certain that this is an example of the best kind of legal procedure and at the same time they will try to show a very advanced view toward the individual.
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It is encouraging to see that the United Nations is helping the new countries, such as the Congo and Somaliland,3 with their problems of government. The U.N. has sent Dr. Ralph Bunche and Constantin A. Stavropoulos, the two men who represented Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold at the independence celebrations in Congo and Somaliland, to make a report on the kind of technical aid that the U.N. could provide to the two countries.
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The battle of the New York City Welfare Department to place young people in jobs is not proving to be easy. The businesses of the city and of New York State have not yet grasped the fact that a thorough survey should be passed up so that the young people will not go through a long waiting period in which it would be so easy for them to get into trouble.
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We left Hyde Park very early Tuesday morning for New York City, and as I write this I am about to leave to make some recordings. I hope, too, to catch up on some of the mail that accumulated during the holiday week end.
J.J. Singh,4 who has been visiting the United States for more than a month, will have lunch with me. I hope he feels that when he returns from India that he is coming back to his second home. Those of us who know him are sure he will contribute to a better understanding of the U.S. in his home country.
Index to this Document: Age: as campaign issue; as requirement for presidency; Bunche, Ralph: as UN emissary to Congo and Somaliland; Clay, Henry; Columbus, Christopher; Congo: Ralph Bunche as UN emissary; history of; Constantin Stavropoulos as UN emissary; UN, technical aid from; Continental Army (U.S.); Death penalty; Declaration of Independence (U.S.); Democratic Party; Eisenhower, Dwight D.; Gyatso, Tenzin; Hamilton, Alexander; Hammarskjold, Dag; India League of America; India-Pakistan Conciliation Group; Individual rights; Jefferson, Thomas; Kennedy, John F.: Fourth of July press conference of; ER's praise for; Truman, criticism of; Khrushchev, Nikita; Madison, James; My Day; New York City Welfare Department: ER's criticism of; youth employment; Powers, Francis Gary: U.S.S.R. trial of; Roosevelt, Eleanor: JFK, praise for; on New York City Welfare Department; Jagjit Singh meets with; on Stevenson-Kennedy ticket; Singh, Jagjit: biography of; ER meets with; Somaliland: Ralph Bunche as UN emissary; Constantin Stavropoulos as UN emissary; UN technical aid to; Stavropoulos, Constantin: as UN emissary to Congo and Somaliland; Stevenson, Adlai E.: popular support for; Stevenson-Kennedy ticket: ER on; Truman, Harry S.: JFK's criticism; JFK's rebuttal of; U-2 incident: ER on; U.S.S.R. "open trial"; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.): U-2 'open trial' and; United Nations (UN): Ralph Bunche and; Congo aid and; Somaliland aid and; Constantin Stavropoulos and; von Abele, Rudolph; Washington, George; West Virginia primary, 1960; Youth: employment of; leadership capabilities of
Recommended citation: Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and the Election of 1960: A Project of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, ed. by Allida Black, June Hopkins, John Sears, Christopher Alhambra, Mary Jo Binker, Christopher Brick, John S. Emrich, Eugenia Gusev, Kristen E. Gwinn, and Bryan D. Peery (Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 2003). Electronic version based on unpublished letters. .
For more information, visit The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers home page at http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/.
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