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

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NEW YORK—Friday night I went to the Coronet Theatre to see Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" and found both the short plays interesting sketches of New York life. They were well acted and gave one a special feeling of reality. The people were real people and the feelings were real feelings. I found the evening very worthwhile and I feel sure that everyone who wants an interesting evening will find themselves well repaid.

The only regret I had about Friday evening was that I could not listen to Adlai Stevenson's speech. This was given, as you know, at the University of Virginia in honor of the 100th birthday of Woodrow Wilson, and I think it was very significant that they chose Armistice Day for this celebration.

Armistice Day, of course, was thought by many to be the end of all wars and yet it proved to be only an armistice with frequent breaks. I am glad we celebrate this day, however, because it reminds us that we have been struggling ever since the end of World War I to find a way to bring an end to war.

I find Adlai Stevenson's speech one that everyone should read. It is simple enough for all to understand. Part of it did not go out over the air and in that part much of significance and beauty was said.

His suggestions for a policy of firmness in the Near East are something which all people should give considerable thought.

The Arabs will not even recognize that Israel is a state, and yet the rest of the world has recognized it. The Soviets have done, and are doing, all they can to encourage trouble in the Near East, but a United Nations patrol would, I think, be the first step toward peace in that area. It would keep the borders intact as they now are and allow no aggression from either side. This would mean the beginning of the Arabs' acceptance of Israel as a nation, and steps could follow to bring about negotiation between Israel and the Arab states.

If Israel should go under, Western influence would be vastly weakened in the Near East and the Soviet influence vastly increased. Suggesting that a U.N. patrol step in could not be interpreted that we chose sides, but could only mean that the U.N. nations realize that a small war could become a great war, and that one of the obligations of the U.N. is to prevent all wars.

I liked particularly one paragraph in the part of Stevenson's speech which did not go out over the air. It is:

"And we must take care lest military security diplomacy hobble our foreign policy. We cannot meet each new problem in a war against war and a war against want just in terms of air bases, military alliances and nuclear stockpiles. If we do, our influence will steadily ebb away in those crucial areas of the world where progress and peace are the major concerns.

“So, let us keep our powder dry, and our minds supple, our hearts warm and our spirits high as the great contest of our time moves forward into a new and even more perilous phase.”

The Republicans have already suggested that for the U.N. to patrol borders might well be the beginning of another Korea. Perhaps to drift without any policy or any action is a safer way, but it looks as if we might drift into war even in a Republican administration!


(Copyright, 1955, United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 16, 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.