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

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NEW YORK —That was an imaginative reporter, the other day, who compared Vice President Nixon's traveling day with the speed with which Henry Hudson traveled in the years when he discovered the Hudson River. The reporter noted that Mr. Nixon breakfasted in the morning with President Eisenhower in Washington, flew to New York for the noontime opening of the three-month Henry Hudson celebration, and then flew by jet to San Francisco to make a dinner speech in the evening!

Once, I recall, I asked my husband why he bothered to read a certain article, because it seemed impossible to believe that there was any truth in it. He looked at me smilingly and said: "It is wise never to say that anything may not be possible in the future. Just look back and remember what impossible things have happened in the past; then you will find yourself reading everything new with the thought that someday it may be a reality." I think of this very often, and the Vice President's day made me think of it again. Who would have thought even ten years ago that we could cover so much ground in so little time!

West Germany's Dr. Adenauer is finding out that it is not an easy thing to change one's mind when one is in high places and has reached the age when there are a number of people who would like to take over the responsibilities one is agreeing to give up. However, Dr. Adenauer is a strong man and evidently reasserted his authority in the Bonn parliament. He debated for five hours, which would seem to prove that at 83 he has plenty of strength to fulfill the duties which he now insists on keeping as Chancellor instead of running for the Presidency, as he had agreed to do. He gave as his reasons for changing his decision the death of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and the deteriorating course of events at the Geneva Conference, saying that in the loss of his friend, Mr. Dulles, the battle for a free world had lost an irreplaceable fighter.

Many of us who admired Mr. Dulles' courage and dedication to the ideals in which he believed will not agree that his loss means weakening of the fight against Communism. Some of us, I think, feel that this fight may be won more successfully if different methods are adopted. Dr. Adenauer quite naturally feels that the policies which he has helped to build are the only ones that can be successful. That is a tendency which many of us have as we grow older, but I think it is a good idea to let younger people have an opportunity to try out new ideas when stalemates such as we seem to be in at the present time are reached.

The Geneva Conference seems to be reaching no satisfactory conclusions. Some people will naturally feel greatly discouraged; but as long as the door is not closed to further conversation I think we must be content, no matter how slowly things move, to go on talking, whether in Geneva or elsewhere. I think we will eventually come to the realization that these questions are all better discussed in the U.N., where world opinion cane be mobilized. I hope very much, if Geneva comes to a close without any firm decisions but simply with a suggestion that further talks be held, whether at the summit or not, that there will be an agreement to hold these talks under the auspices of the U.N.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 15, 1959

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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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.