DECEMBER 24, 1956
HYDE PARK—Throughout the country our eyes are turned on Montgomery, Alabama, as the Supreme Court's order ending segregation on buses goes into effect. The Negroes celebrated this order at mass meetings on Thursday night and they have already gone back to using the buses on a non-segregated basis. Their spiritual leader, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., cautioned them not to allow any violence. "This is a time when we must observe calm dignity and wise restraint," he said. "Emotions must not run wild."
Only one or two minor incidents occurred the first day of non-segregation on buses. The Negroes in Montgomery had been given careful schooling in a nonviolent approach to any difficulties that might arise. Special emphasis had been laid on "remaining peaceful even if others strike first." It is to be hoped that everything will continue to move quietly, for this experiment of non-segregation is already in force in the airlines in the South, and in the North there is no place where one may not sit next to an individual of any nationality or color in public conveyances. Once it is accepted, I am sure it will seem as natural for the people of the South as it does for the people of the North.
Prime Minister Nehru's first day in New York was crowded with appointments, every minute of his time being filled. His speech from the rostrum of the U.N. General Assembly, though given to an informal gathering rather than to an official meeting, was a very significant one. The time had come, he declared, when world peace could better be preserved by the force of world opinion than by the force of arms. That is a doctrine, of course, which would naturally receive wide acclaim in the U.N. , for that is where they are trying to establish the habit of reasoning together and creating public opinion rather than of resorting to arms and force.
There is no question but what the Prime Minister feels this very deeply. He repeated it in a short evening speech to a group of about 250 leaders of nongovernmental organizations gathered in the Carnegie Endowment Building under the auspices of the American Association for the U.N. , and he said again that this was what we must strive for. Like all of us, when it comes down to cases and where his own special emotions and feelings are concerned—as they are in Kashmir—he becomes somewhat more heated than when he is talking about problems in general. But he is probably right in his belief that if all troops were removed from Kashmir there would be more chance, even there, of finding an equitable solution to their difficulties.
(COPYRIGHT, 1956, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 24, 1956
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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