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

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NEW YORK—I read with pleasure the report from "authoritative sources" that the United States will shortly announce temporary suspension of nuclear tests. This decision undoubtedly stems from the East-West conference of scientific experts meeting in Geneva.

It must be gratifying to Mr. Adlai Stevenson and the Democrats who followed him and worked in his campaign that this idea is finally accepted. Mr. Stevenson proved to have been ahead of his time in feeling that this gesture could be made without endangering our safety too much.

There is no question that there is always risk in doing anything, and there is probably risk in this decision. But it seems to me it is time for such a decision in view of the feeling on the subject expressed by so many of the countries who have no atom bombs or atomic power of any kind.

I hope the negotiations going on which suggest making Antarctica an international laboratory will be grought to a successful conclusion, too. Twelve nations are participating and both the United States and the Soviet Union are concerned. I think it is becoming increasingly evident that we need international control in a number of areas where real gains in scientific knowledge can only be made as scientists of different nations cooperate.

It was interesting to read of the first "tourist party" to arrive from Russia. Fourteen Soviet citizens are here not on an official visit but as tourists for two weeks. It has cost them $1,145, according to the account I read, and they will have visited New York City, Washington, Chicago, and Niagara Falls before returning home.

Of course, they will go to the United Nations, and if I were not just on the verge of going away I would be hopeful that they would visit Hyde Park. As we begin to get Russian tourists coming into this country we should be prepared to show them our homes. That is really the greatest difference between the Soviet Union and the U.S. The homes of workers are very much easier to see here than they are over there, and since this is the basic difference in life for an American citizen and life for a Soviet citizen—whether we talk of the man working with his hands or with his head—this business of a home is a really basic difference in life.

I think, therefore, we should make every effort to show the difference in our way of life over here. They may or may not like it, but they will understand us better for it, if they know that we are basically different in this respect of our daily living.

I am also glad that we are prodding the Soviet government to end travel restrictions. The fact that we are letting the barriers down to a certain extent is a demonstration to these new Russian tourists of what a free country really is, but only time will tell when the Soviets will be ready to reciprocate.


(Copyright, 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 25, 1958

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.