The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday —With the good weather to encourage all those who had gone to Washington for the great inauguration parade yesterday, it must have been heart-warming for President Truman. He has had to bear all the burdens of the Presidential office in these difficult years even before the people actually elected him to office. Now that he has been elected and inaugurated, he knows at least that he shares his burdens with the people because he was their choice.

No easy road lies ahead for him. The goals are very clear but, as so often happens, the means for attaining those goals are still very uncertain. And that holds good not only in the international field but in the field of domestic programs.

So much depends upon the President's wisdom and courage and upon the choice of his advisers. He must have people around him who tell him the truth, and he must have people around him who recognize that this is a changing world and that they must be prepared to do research on every subject that comes up and find new solutions if the old ones do not seem to fit the situation.

President Truman's adventure, embarked upon on January 20, 1949, is the adventure of the people of the United States and of the world as a whole. There will be mistakes, but one feels that the President will have the courage to acknowledge the mistakes and to put them behind him and start anew.

That is all one can ask of any man in these difficult times. The people of the United States must join in wishing him success and God's blessing.

In an article by one of our prominent columnists we were reminded the other day that it was a speech by President Hoover made in 1932 which stated: "The function of the Federal government in these times is to use its reserve powers and its strength for the protection of citizens and local governments by support to our institutions against forces beyond their control."

The only difference between the efforts made by Mr. Hoover and those made later was that he focused his help primarily on institutions and business organizations, whereas later the individual became the center of attention and it was to him, as a citizen, that help was furnished. The help that came to the citizen strengthened the institutions.

This is a difference which I feel we should not forget today. There is emphasis on all the needs of individuals at home and abroad, and it is quite obvious that, wherever it is possible, needs must be met. But there is a wide difference between desires and needs and in examining the various projects that come before us, this difference must be kept in mind.

I still believe that the well-being of the individual spreads upwards and gives us strong business and government institutions. But every project that is planned to attain greater well-being for the people, where it must be financed by government, should be weighed in the perspective of real need. Where it is really needed and will help the majority of our citizens to greater personal achievements, then we should strive to have it accepted. But we should never mistake the natural desires of human beings for the real needs of human beings.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 22, 1949

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.