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

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NEW YORK—Early this week at my office I had the pleasure of a talk with Mr. George Hoyen, who told me about his international orchestra. The idea of having an orchestra composed not only of musicians from member nations of the United Nations but also from non-members is interesting. While the practical side presents many difficulties, Mr. Hoyen has overcome so many already that I hope he may finally achieve success.

Music is the one language that requires no interpretation. The listener interprets for himself and gets his own meaning and satisfaction and I think this orchestra could carry a message throughout the world that would be of great importance.

On Thursday morning I had a delightful visit with Mr. Hermann Hagedorn and his daughter. Mr. Hagedorn is gathering recollections of various members of the family that touch on Mrs. William Sheffield Cowles and Mrs. Douglas Robinson, the two sisters of Theodore Roosevelt.

They were two remarkable women and I think it would be a great waste if someone did not write a book about them. They were very different from each other, and each in her own way was an outstanding personality. They had a great influence, I think, on the younger people with whom they came in contact and I know they left their mark on my generation.

I was shocked to read Senator William F. Knowland's flat declaration branding as "a failure" Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold's attempt to effect the release of the 11 U.S. fliers held captive by the Chinese Reds.

Those persons who have any real knowledge of what has been accomplished or what efforts are being made to free our fliers in Communist China have spoken with guarded optimism and stressed the point that progress had been made but that we must move cautiously and we must have patience. In his statement the Senator shows a total lack of understanding of the Asiatic mind and of the Oriental way of dealing with such questions.

No Oriental understands our desire for quick results, and there must be a great deal more concern on the part of the Chinese about how things shall be done in order that no one may "lose face" than we can readily understand.

If the Senator wanted to be helpful he would state what is true—that if Communist China wishes to gain respect and confidence in the world, she will free these prisoners without any strings attached simply because she decides that the request is reasonable and that there is truth in the statements made by our government.

Such statements as made by the Senator must try the President and the Secretary of State, and it should try the people of this country, for our ultimate objective is the release of prisoners and not the backing up of any particular Chinese faction.

I read with interest of Mr. and Mrs. Myron Taylor's gift to establish an Episcopal center in our diocese. It is a most generous and useful gift and should be gratefully acknowledged by all of us in the diocese.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 21, 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.