My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DENVER —On last Monday our luncheon in Dallas was a great success. The room held about 320 guests and the chairs were packed so tightly that service was difficult. And there were even people outside who brought chairs in to listen to the speeches.

Just before I got up to speak someone whispered in my ear that there were some "Minute Women" there, and this pleased me very much. Although I know that fanatics are impossible to influence, still if you feel you are telling the truth you are glad to have fanatics or those whom you think are not completely aware of the truth hear what you have to say. And you are never afraid of questions. I like questions because I always take it for granted that people really want to know the answers, and I answer as truthfully and as completely as I can.

At 2:30 in the afternoon Judge Hughes and I were on a radio program—a program designed to be broadcast every two weeks to give news about the United Nations. This news certainly seems to be needed, for I read in one Dallas morning newspaper the following excerpts from an editorial: "Some (specialized agencies) have spread socialized programs over the world at our expense."

Just what programs, however, was not specified, which is the usual way such statements are made. So, one wonders what they consider are socialized programs.

Is it socialistic to have the World Health Organization, for instance, help clear up malaria, and make it possible for people to work? Is it socialistic for technical assistance to help develop other countries' natural resources so that we can buy for our production?

That seems to me to be anything but socialistic, for it is helping people to help themselves. Such stories in the newspapers show that prejudice has clouded some people's ability to know and tell the truth.

This editorial goes on to say that what they call "subsidiary or fringe agencies" are well-intentioned, but some have fallen into the hands of crackpots and are being used to promote dubious schemes inimical to U.N. purposes.

Whom do they consider crackpots? Dr. Luther Evans, who was our librarian in the Congressional Library?

Dr. Brock Chisholm, now back in Canada but who headed the World Health Organization. One could go on with a long list of equally distinguished names.

The U.N. is drawing these specialized agencies into closer coordination. There are always things that can be improved but such blanket statements as this Dallas morning paper made editorially are only made when people do not look for the truth and are trying to prove what they hope is true. They would prefer not to know the truth.

It was very gratifying, however, to find in this same newspaper an editorial on lowering the tariffs. This piece was really written from an international point of view. It reflects the fact that Texas had long been an exporting state and, therefore, has an interest in trade situations throughout the world.

I did another television show before the day was over, and my grandson called from Fort Worth to say, "It was fine, Grandmere," which made me happy. Then we dined with Judge Hughes and talked about cooperation and ways to work, so I think the day was well spent.

E. R.

(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1955, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 14, 1955

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.
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