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


HYDE PARK, Monday—Sunday was certainly a stormy day, but there is something rather exhilarating in fighting the wind if you are properly dressed for it. So, I enjoyed sallying forth in the afternoon and making my way to the Medical Center to see a friend.

At 5 o'clock I had the pleasure of being a guest on Sarah Churchill's new television program. She is one of the most charming young women I know. Her husband, who is an expert photographer, is working with her in the lighting of this show. She told her audience that she hoped to give them a pleasant 15 minutes, and I think it will not only be a pleasant but an interesting program.

Winston Churchill's daughter has been an eyewitness to many historical incidents. She accompanied her father to Yalta when our daughter, Anna, went with my husband, and aside from her own personal accomplishments as a WAAF and as an actress, she has acquired much from the people she has met and the events she had lived through with her mother and father.

Sarah should be a success on television. There is a warmth about her personality that cannot fail to get through to her audiences. She has a zest for life and the television audiences will enjoy "being with her."

Sunday evening I went to the dinner at Freedom House to receive a special award made to the memory of my husband, a bound copy of Freedom House's "Declaration of Freedom." I liked particularly the fact that this was given to me because, as the speaker said, more than any other person in recent years President Roosevelt had inspired the people of the world with the desire for and the hope of freedom. I think he felt all people had a right to aspire and to strive to achieve freedom.

The award of the year was given to Paul Hoffman, former director of the ECA, and he made an inspiring speech. It was a speech that should spur us on to protect our freedoms at home and never to take them for granted.

The award to Dr. Alberto Gainza Paz, editor of La Prensa, the Argentine newspaper seized by the Peron government, was a fine gesture. I have now met this courageous gentleman twice and last night, sitting beside him, I had an opportunity to talk to him as well as to hear him speak.

It takes a strong man to preserve his freedom in a totalitarian state or even to fight for it. Dr. Gainza Paz remarked that with notable exceptions it was people who possessed a good deal of the world's goods who gave it to dictatorships because they did not wish to risk the loss of their possessions. A sad commentary on our intelligence, for in a totalitarian state no possessions are ever safe. Once we give up any freedom for any one individual, it is a danger for all.

This is a point for all of us to remember and when we hear of people being arrested without explanation, of houses being entered by the police without any authority from the courts, and of the habeas corpus writ being completely ignored then we know that what we call a free state has ceased to exist. Whether the form is Fascist or Communist, it is really dangerous and should be fought by all of us who want to retain our own freedom.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 9, 1951

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.

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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.