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

[This column has emendations. View original version]


NEW YORK, Tuesday—I have just received a rather astonishing letter from someone in Illinois who apparently very carefully sent the letter unsigned. Among other things, the writer claims that there was bribery and corruption in the State of Illinois and that Governor Stevenson did nothing about it till Federal officials forced him to do so.

I am no specialist on this subject, but it seems to me it would be unwise for any public official to take steps to dismiss people or to accuse them of wrongdoing until he had the facts well in hand. After the facts had been presented following a proper investigation, action could be taken. But it would be very wrong to act before proof of wrongdoing had been found.

Then comes the really astounding part of this anonymous letter, to wit:

"For many years daily I have been on my knees in silent prayer and communed with the Divine and long ago before anyone mentioned publicly I heard a still, small voice saying the General is God's choice and am sure if you will be willing to do so, you will get the same answer and reap a happy future, far different from the endorsement you have given erroneously over the air this week.

“It is said that a fool never changes his mind. Don't be a fool; don't be a woman of the world, but a true lady voting for God's choice November 4th. To Him you have to answer and will be blessed accordingly.

Well, all I can say is that it must be wonderful to have the Lord tell one individual how to vote, and I congratulate my anonymous correspondent.

But seriously, whoever is chosen on Election Day we hope sincerely he will be God's choice. And we hope that everyone will pray for wise judgment in casting his ballot.

And, regarding the last sentence of my reader's letter, I fully believe we do have to answer for the efforts we make to see the light and act accordingly, and we certainly hope to be blessed in response to these efforts.

In spite of this anonymous appeal, however, I feel bound to follow my own convictions and my own beliefs. I do not expect to be told who to vote for, since I only feel justified in asking for wisdom and understanding to help me make a choice.

This same correspondent enclosed a clipping of what I suppose was an effort at a funny column directed against the State Department and the Point 4 program. The writer of the column is opposed to sending expert technicians to help the Egyptians build better mud houses. The columnist evidently ignores the fact that we spent much time and money in our own Southwest developing the old arts known by the early Indians in this country and we found a very much better way of building with adobe blocks.

This is no laughing matter because the improved methods make a lot of difference in the comfort and the durability of the house. So often certain columnists pick up something which they think is funny and will help them to get in a lick at the State Department or at Secretary Acheson. I am impressed with the fact in this case that the columnist knows little about his own country.

Someday we will realize what a very good public servant we have had in Secretary Acheson and perhaps he will belatedly get the gratitude and the applause of his fellow citizens. Up to now many people made his work so difficult that he may be glad when the day comes that he feels free to give up public service.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 29, 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
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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.