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

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PARIS, Tuesday—I was delighted to receive from Andre Maurois the speech he had given at Barentin on my husband's life and which I am sending back to the library at Hyde Park.

I will translate for you one little part at the end of the speech. He spoke of Marshal De Lattre and how the French had engraved on his tomb: "He deserved well of his fatherland." And then he said one could engrave on the simple stone that marks President Roosevelt's grave at Hyde Park: "He deserved well of humanity."

That would have pleased my husband and I am glad that it will be preserved in the archives of the library.

I was pleased to see in the paper here that John Carter Vincent finally had an open hearing before the Senate Internal Security subcommittee so that he could answer accusations made by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R., Wis.) and also refute the testimony of Louis Budenz, former managing editor of "The Daily Worker."

I was delighted that Mr. Vincent was so clear and blunt and very glad also that he said "any attempt through malicious testimony to cause American people to lose confidence in their officials or in each other is in itself subversive to the interest and security of our country. When, as in my case, an official represents his country abroad the effect may be doubly harmful."

That last sentence is something which I think should be borne in mind by everyone. The amount of harm that has been and can be done to able American representatives by accusations made by former Communists and never fully substantiated, yet accepted by those such as Senator McCarthy, does tremendous damage to our foreign relations.

I was particularly interested in a story here reporting the voting of certain wild tribes in India. I had been wondering, as perhaps so many people in the United States might have, why it should take so long to go through this process in India. This story cleared this up, describing how many of the Indian tribes from deep in the jungle had marched miles to reach the polling booths and how others had left the worship of their Babylonian gods in order to travel long distances to worship the god of "vote."

We cannot get out more than 51 percent of our vote at home, if I recall the statistics correctly, and yet whole tribes in India can trek through jungle and over desert with drums and flutes, leading processions to cast their ballots. Think what this must mean for the campaigners!

We think it is quite a task to cover a state by car and make speeches to our constituents. How would we feel about making our way through tiger-infested jungles to make stump speeches and later to vote!

Perhaps someday it will be the Indian people who will be teaching the rest of us how to use our precious secret ballot, which we are inclined to take so much for granted and even to neglect.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Paris (France) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 6, 1952

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 June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.