NOVEMBER 26, 1959
HYDE PARK—We have a habit in our house of always drinking a toast on Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Day first of all to the United States of America. For on these days of good wishes for one's family and friends one must wish before anything else for everything that is good for one's country as a whole. If things do not go well for one's country, then it will be impossible for things to go well for our families, for ourselves, or for our friends.
So, uppermost in our minds on Thanksgiving Day, 1959, are thoughts of our President visiting many foreign lands and we are wishing him good luck on his journey and may it serve the good of our country and the peace of the world.
One other custom in our house is to drink a toast to all relatives and friends, near and far, who are not able to be with us on Thanksgiving Day. Some have left us for better worlds. Others are far away and not able to join us.
Then we toast each other, down to the youngest child present.
On Thanksgiving Day I always try very hard, too, to have someone read one of the Thanksgiving proclamations. But in this I do not always succeed, for there is always a decided anxiety on the part of most to sit themselves down and eat of the turkey.
We can be thankful, I think, this year that another year has gone by and we are still at peace. In fact, I think we have more hope for permanent peace, and more is being said about achieving total disarmament and building a world legal system that would replace the use of force than I have heard in years gone by. For this, I am thankful.
I believe the peoples of the world can live together in peace if only their leaders will really mean what they say and make compromises that will ensure peace for the world. I am not one who thinks peace will come easily or without sacrifices on everybody's part, but it is worth any amount of sacrifice, and the ability to live together is worth the sacrifices it takes to reach a cooperative state of mind.
The one thing that we are not thankful for at this season is the amount of dishonesty that is being discovered both in public and in private groups. So, let us pray that a year from now we can feel that everywhere our people will have come to regard their public and private interests with a greater sense of responsibility.