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


NEW YORK, Wednesday—The news from Korea the last few days is certainly disquieting, but General MacArthur's statement that the U.N. forces are fighting an entirely new war, while true, seems to me a little confusing. We have always known that the Chinese Communists lay at the other side of the North Korean border and might attack, so our strategy must have taken the possibility of this continuation of war in Korea into account.

It is no new war. It is a new phase of the war that the U.N. forces have been engaged in. The only new thing about it is the fact that the Chinese Communists are now openly engaged in it while before the comparatively few ones claimed they were fighting as volunteers with the North Koreans. We were told they were not there as organized Chinese forces.

The objective of the United Nations is to establish a unified Korea and leave the people as soon as possible to govern themselves. There is much talk that the last election in Korea was not what we would call in our country a completely democratic election and, therefore, the present government is not a democratic government. There is no way we can judge.

The United Nations supervised the election and said it was a free election. But it may well be that if the people hold another election their government may be changed. The only concern of the U.N. is that the election should be free and that the government should represent the people sufficiently well so that there would be no question as to the people having freely made their choice.

It is hard for us who live in a democratic country to realize that these processes are not familiar ones to all peoples all over the world. It is also hard for us to realize that peoples who never had democracy may not be able to function immediately under a democratic form of government. But it is obvious that what the U.N. wants is to make it possible for the Korean people to be left free in their own country to develop as they wish.

The U.N. has no selfish interest that would lead it to want to conquer and hold territory in Korea, China, or any other Asiatic area. As I look at the present military situation I have a feeling that we need to think through what type of forces will best help the U.N. to keep peace in the world as a whole.

From the point of view of the United States, we are no more interested than the U.N. in conquest or in holding any part of the world anywhere. But we are interested in preserving the peace of the world. I wonder if that might not be done best by developing our air strength to the limit of our possibilities. Our ingenuity, our mass production and our inventive power could all be used to make this a real weapon for the preservation of peace in the world.

To turn to something lighter, our citizens here in New York City will get a great deal of pleasure, I think, if they attend the performance of the New York City Ballet at the City Center. It opened Tuesday night after appearances in England at the Royal Opera House and Covent Garden. There the ballet had great success. George Balanchine, the director, has been wonderfully successful and I think he has a group of which we all can be proud.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 30, 1950

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
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.