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

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NEW YORK—There was something in the speech of Niels Bohr, the great Danish scientist, in Washington that, I think, should be read by all of our lawmakers. In accepting the first Atoms for Peace Award from the National Academy of Sciences, he said:

“In science, where we build on the achievements of preceding generations and strive to enrich the heritage, the individual worker can only add a brick or shape a column to a great edifice, but to see it rising by common effort is a most inspiring adventure.”

This states the attitude of the scientists and the reason they have always insisted that we pool our knowledge the world over and that their work be used for the benefit of all mankind. They prefer that their discoveries go toward the enriching of our peacetime lives.

A great number of scientists consider the concentration on destructive weapons as wrong, looking upon them only as a by-product of the search for knowledge.

The day will come, I hope, when we will not only share our knowledge with our allies—something we are just waking up to the realization we should do—but that we will have grown to the point where we can put the results of all research entirely under the jurisdiction of the United Nations where it can be shared by all. We should begin immediately by sharing any knowledge that would increase the medical progress of the world.

Unemployment brought about by defense production cutbacks is assuming serious proportions in New York State alone and shows again the lack of interest in what happens to human beings—one of the serious failings of this Administration in Washington.

If we can keep up our defenses and reduce expenditures in defense plants, we certainly should try to do it. But this should not be done without first consulting with industrialists in the cutback areas to make sure there is other employment for those forced to leave the defense jobs.

Production of goods for the world is needed, so with a little forethought and cooperation between government and industry these needs could be filled and the people kept at work. If we simply close factories, however, we are going to find ourselves in a serious unemployment situation.

Governor Averell Harriman has taken one constructive step to relieve the situation in New York State by releasing construction funds, but this is only an emergency measure on his part and not something which shows the careful consideration by the government in Washington for the well-being of people in all of our states.

The campaign for Mayor of New York City does not seem to be exciting. It is quite evident that Mayor Robert F. Wagner understands the city government, and while he may not have done everything to the satisfaction of everyone, he certainly has tried to give the people of the city a good administration. In a large measure, he has succeeded.

The government of the City of New York is a complicated operation and takes time to fully understand. I think it would be harmful to turn now to a Republican administration under Robert K. Christenberry who, from much of what he says, evidently has little real understanding of the problems of the city.


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

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 30, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.