My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Monday—I came to Washington by air on Saturday morning and soon found myself installed at the Hotel Shoreham. There I was visited by two young men who had written me that they had a book which they wanted me to see. Mr. Morgan and his brother appeared with two large brief cases and the material for several books and some most interesting charts. They have been trying to find the answer to the questions that bother so many people: Where is man going? Why is our civilization so out of balance in different areas of the world and how can we bring it into balance and save ourselves from destruction?

I was very much interested in the work that they had done but felt that they would have to condense its presentation and put in a form that would be more easily understandable so that the suggestions they might have could be more easily weighed. It was extremely interesting to find people struggling with ideas on a new fundamental level, however.

After a hurried lunch I attended the resolutions committee meeting during the afternoon, taking time out for a press conference. In the evening I had a delightful dinner with some old friends and Sunday afternoon we went back to work on the resolutions committee.

Sunday evening Vice President Nixon opened our conference. This conference is called by the American Association for the United Nations but it is attended by national organizations who have interest enough in the problem of "United States Responsibility for World Leadership in 1954" to send delegates.

Some 400 delegates have already registered. All of them pay their own expenses and a small fee so it is evident that this subject covers a wide area of interest.

The Vice President read a message from President Eisenhower to Dr. Charles Mayo of Rochester, Minn., president of the AAUN. President Eisenhower wrote:

"This leadership cannot be too frequently re-defined. It reflects no ambition for world power; it springs from no desire to interfere in the international affairs of other countries. Such ambitions and desires are foreign to this country. It is a leadership reflecting, rather, two desires fervently held by all Americans; the desire for an enduring peace and the desire to preserve our way of life.

"The success of this nation's leadership depends, in large measure, on the extent to which we recognize the need for gaining the trust and confidence of other peoples. To use coercion, to indulge ourselves in selfish, willful actions will only fail to attract that confidence—it would clearly and inevitably destroy it. But to work in a manner consistent with the traditions of liberty with all those who with us struggle for the cause of liberty is to gain their trust and in the end to win the struggle."

We are certainly struggling at home for liberty at the present time so there is real point to this letter and if our own struggle is successful, as I feel sure it will be, our leadership will certainly be more valuable.

In closing, the President said: "And we shall be ever mindful that the United Nations is an instrument well suited to help the nations of the free world achieve the goals toward which they strive."



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 2, 1954

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 2008-06-30

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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.