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

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New York—All of us are wishing President Eisenhower well on his journey to South America. He will to well-received, for he so evidently wants to bring about better understanding.

There will, of course, again be no time for real negotiations, and it is probably not advisable that there should be any. The President undoubtedly will promise our help and interest, but there are signs that the South Americans are learning that the most important thing is to come together with their neighbors and work out their problems. They will look to us for help as a more distant but good neighbor, learning nevertheless to cooperate and work on common problems with their nearer neighbors.

The latest move toward a common market for a number of South American countries is one of the first signs of a conscious effort to help each other through close cooperation.

The President's statement on American defenses was, of course, a very important one on the eve of his departure. One of the axioms of the past has been the need for solidarity of the North and South American continents in their defense of freedom. Of course, the United States' ability to defend not just ourselves but to play a vital part in the defense of both North and South America is very important to the confidence of our neighbors.

I do not think that the criticism and the questioning on our defenses by members of Congress is a bad thing, however. I believe it forces the Administration to look into what is going on in this area and to make an accounting to the people.

I am beginning to think, though, that more and more of us realise that in a nuclear age there is no such thing possible as real military security. We have to depend more and more on building confidence and understanding and using our knowledge to improve the lives of men and not contemplate any longer the possibility of destroying each other. It is possible to destroy, but that should be unthinkable, and perhaps a new concept of defense is what has to emerge out of the necessity of the present day.

Mr. Thomas K. Finletter delivered the second annual Clara Memorial lecture on Tuesday evening in the Crystal Room of the Hotel Croyden, here in New York. His subject was "The Liberal Temperament."

This lecture is an annual memorial to Dr. Clara Thompson and is sponsored by the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Pychoanalysis and Psychology.

Dr. Thompson helped to develop the school of psychoanalysis based on interpersonal relationships, along with Dr. Erich Fromm and Dr. Harry Stack. And she was a founder of the institute that now honors her by sponsoring these annual memorial lectures.

People often say that women do not have the same creative capacity as men, and they cite the fact that there are few great names In the literary field or in the scientific field. I think Dr. Thompson was one to disprove this theory, and I am glad that her memory is to be brought to mind annually.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 24, 1960

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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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.