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


HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I have just received a highly amusing criticism, apparently written by a gentleman named Myron C. Fagan and published in Wichita, Kansas, by Defender Publishers. It purports to answer one of my columns and succeeds in distorting both the truth and the facts.

However, one thing is worth reporting. Mr. Fagan says: "Significantly, she (Mrs. E.R.) failed to mention the most serious of all the charges in our pamphlet: the secret agreement entered into between Alger Hiss and Molotov, under which the post of head of the Military Division of the United Nations was set aside permanently for a Moscow Red."

I didn't mention this because I had never heard of such a secret agreement, nor did I know that there was a Military Division with a head in the U.N. I knew that there were Chiefs of Staff of the different nations, appointed to meet and try to work out some kind of agreement on reduction of armaments, but I thought they were on equal terms.

Mr. Fagan's next paragraph says the entire Korean "police action" was conducted under the control of that Red U.N. Minister. This is news. I thought the U.N. had appointed Gen. Douglas MacArthur and that he had conducted the entire campaign until he was recalled. These are statements in this paper which can easily be proved true or false by writing to the U.N.

The effort to make people believe things that obviously cannot be true may succeed for a time but cannot succeed forever.

I am making a collection in my files of statements sent me which actually can be proved untrue. One of them is a clipping from a San Diego (Calif.) newspaper that appeared in the "Voice of the People" column on July 30. It is a plea for a reward for a Mrs. Beatrice Churchill. I hope if she deserves the reward she receives it, but the part of the paragraph which is not true is the following: "Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, who now receives a fat widow's pension..."

Had the gentleman taken the trouble to find out he could easily have been told that I have never been granted a widow's pension and have never asked for one. I don't know whether the widows of Presidents have to ask for pensions. In my case I have never asked and the question of a government pension has never been brought up.

In going over all these things that are constantly being sent to me, one really delightful picture arrived. It appeared in the Des Moines Sunday Register and shows a number of children on a dude ranch in Unionville, Iowa, run by Mr. and Mrs. John Head. Mr. Head was retired at 65 and the question had to be faced as to what he and Mrs. Head could do. They hit on the idea of running a combined farm and dude ranch just for children, and it has been a great success. They usually have about 30 children from many different Midwest and Far Western states.

Every now and then one hears of an older person who is expected to do nothing for the rest of his life and who finds something really interesting and worthwhile which keeps him alive and active. Another good example can be seen in a collection of ship models which an older man has been working on at the Seamans Church Institute in New York City. In both cases these older men have made a success of their undertakings after reaching 65 years of age.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 26, 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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.