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

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HYDE PARK—Herbert H. Lehman, former U.S. Senator from New York, who was often called "the conscience of the Senate," made a speech recently on civil liberties and civil rights, at the end of which he said something all of us should think over with great care.

"In my judgment," said the man who I think now will help by being the rousing voice of conscience in the U.S., "all who believe in the cause of freedom, all who know that the rights of individuals or groups of individuals are violated, the rights of all are threatened, must now mobilize their supreme efforts for the struggle.

"The time is now. It is later than you think. All who would live in freedom and who would struggle for it must come forward now."

Mr. Lehman made some definite requests of our Administration and those who serve it in high places, ending by putting the responsibility on all of us.

Each of us carries some little influence in our own particular area, and I think he is right when he says we have been going backward in the last year in observance of laws throughout the country and in protection of civil rights and that each of us is responsible for this, for the leaders of our nation can do little without our following.

Commemorative services were held recently at the Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga., where my husband loved to stay, and Jonathan Daniels, who was administrative assistant to my husband, gave a memorable speech.

The newspapers picked up, of course, one little item in which Mr. Daniels said he had not given out for publication certain photographs which were supposed to have told him that my husband was weary beyond all bearing.

I think this was very unimportant, because the photographs that did come out showed the weariness and strain of the many years of crisis through which my husband had lived in the White House. But everyone who knew him well had the hope he would come back from the strain as he had so many times in the past.

The rest of Mr. Daniels' speech contained much that was interesting, but most interesting was a statement which has hardly been mentioned but nevertheless was very true:

"The only unmistakable item...will be the strange but certain identification of the man with the people in the long dozen years he was the unquestioned leader of America who became the almost-equal leader of the world. That identification underlies the durability of his purposes, his plans and his programs, even in the hands of those who reject his name."

That is why so many things done during my husband's term of office as President never have been undone.


(Copyright, 1957, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 22, 1957

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.