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

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NEW YORK—One wonders why we are not hearing a little more about the campaign going on in our newest state in the Union—Alaska.

One Democrat running there is Ernest Gruening, who aspires to be elected as one of the two new U.S. Senators from this baby state. My husband had a great respect for Mr. Gruening, so I would like very much to see the Republicans bring us some information about their candidate, a young but rather solid reactionary named Michael A. Stepovich, the present governor, who is running against Mr. Gruening.

Mr. Gruening's record in Alaska as governor was excellent and he is well known as a liberal. However, I don't think that either the President or the Vice-President will be able to call him a "radical"

It is amusing to see some of the things that campaigners on the Republican side have had to bring out of their bag of tricks as they tour the country in their campaign.

The accusation of radicalism is, of course, Republican stock in trade. We have heard it almost as often as the threat that electing the Democrats will mean that there will be unsound economic policies and grass will grow in the streets of our great cities. I remember that last one clearly in the campaign of 1932 and it is interesting to hear it being brought up again.

None of these things, however, will stick where Ernest Gruening is concerned. His record is a rather impressive one.

1933: Advisor to U.S. delegation of Seventh Inter-American Conference at Montevideo, Uruguay.
1934: First Director, Division of Territories and Island Possessions of the Department of Interior, created by executive order in May, 1934.
1935: Administrator of Puerto Rican Reconstruction Administration.
1938: Member of Alaska International Highway Commission.
1939 to 1953: Governor of Alaska.
1955: Elected to six-year term in the U.S. Senate under Alaska-Tennessee Plan to work for statehood, but resigned in order to facilitate passage of statehood by Senate.

In these public offices he has always given a good account of himself and at the same time he has succeeded in being a writer on rather serious subjects. His book, "Mexico and Its Heritage," published in 1928, is considered an outstanding work on Mexico and is still in print. More recently many of us will remember his numerous articles on Alaska statehood in some of our best magazines.

He is the type of person we would like to see in the U.S. Senate, and it is good to find such a high standard being brought to us from our newest state.


(Copyright, 1958, 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 28, 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.