My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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FRESNO, Calif., Thursday—It is very rare that I am happy over the cutting down of a tree but the following story came to me from the Oregon chapter of the American Association for the U.N. and if a tree is to be cut down, this one, cut at the right time, served a good purpose. The story, as sent to me, is entitled, "Money That Grew on a Tree," and here it is:

One of Oregon's oldest Douglas firs has been used for a new kind of building—a building whose foundation is peace, whose framework is human rights, whose rooms, occupied by the people of the world, are justice, tolerance and social progress.

Mr. George E. Owen, Eugene lumberman, donated the 400-year-old tree to the Oregon chapter to aid in financing the efforts of the U.N. The 275-foot-tall fir contained nearly 15,000 board feet of lumber and was expected to net approximately $500 after deductions of costs of cutting, yarding, loading, hauling and other processing.

However, when the woods crew heard of the purpose this tree would serve they donated their labor. Along the way, as the tree progressed toward the finished product, the other U.N. supporters added their bit, until the cost of processing and marketing was further reduced. Cutters, loggers and haulers donated their work. To help further, the U.S. Plywood Corporation of Mapleton, Oregon, who bought the tree, added $10 per thousand feet to the price.

The net from this lovely Douglas fir was $1,004.25.

Mr. Owen, in donating the tree, said, "I feel it is sort of a small insurance policy for my twin grandsons, Daniel and David Owen. If a peace-loving rancher would give a steer or even a sheep; or a farmer a few sacks of wheat; a gardener some of his extra carrots or beans; and some of our salaried people interested in this approach to peace, even one hour's salary per month now and then, ample finances to carry on this fine work would be assured."

The U.N. is grateful to Mr. Owen and to his woods crew, Lyle Wheeler, Bob Moo, Beverly Kyle, John Filton, Jim Carlisle, Riley Osburn, Bud Gould, Duke Lembaugh, Ron Stanton, Garrett Black, Earl Bruce, "Chuck" Hammond, Frank Carpenter, Corby Martin and Roger Gould. By cutting down a tree they have contributed to the building of peace.

I heard the other day of an interesting example where trade, not aid, was actually becoming a reality between the United States and Great Britain. Mr. J.H. Carmichael, president of Capital Airlines, received a citation last month from the 6th annual Virginia World Conference for consumating the purchase of 40 Viscount airplanes from Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. of England at a total cost of $45,000,000 at the same time British Overseas Airlines Corporation confirmed an interest in purchasing a fleet of the Douglas DC-7s. This is an excellent example of healthy trade relations and I hope there will be many more such examples.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Fresno, (Calif., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 12, 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.