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

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New York—Perhaps because I understand so little about the complicated space discoveries, the fact that the Defense Department has placed into orbit a "space lighthouse" is very exciting to me.

If this project continues to succeed, pointing the way to far more accurate navigation on earth, it will revolutionize the travel of ships and aircraft. Naturally, the information this satellite transmits back to earth will be available to all nations, thereby making navigation throughout the world more accurate than before.

Weather will make no difference, and this kind of system will operate night or day. This will mean greater safety to the ships and planes of every nation, and it is one of the benefits of the space studies we are now making which I am able to understand and to see as a great value to everyone.

It was sad to see, in the photographs in newspapers last week, an African leader wearing a mask at a meeting where, in a secret rendezvous with independent observers, he discussed the present situation in South Africa.

The photograph was taken at a meeting in Town Hall here where Dr. Hastings K. Banda of Nyasaland and Kenneth Kaunda of Northern Rhodesia answered questions and urged an economic boycott of South Africa.

I was struck by the intelligence that was reflected from both of these faces. These are remarkable young leaders from Africa whom we are seeing in this country at present, and it looks as though Africa is going to have leaders worthy of the tremendous challenge that the situation there presents.

For the Prime Minister of Great Britain, the situation must be difficult. I noticed that he said, "Despite their differences on racial questions, Britain and Africa should work together." And the Most Rev. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, asked the people of Britain to pray for South Africa.

I wonder whether Prime Minister Harold Macmillan meant what he said in suggesting that economic sanctions should not be imposed as a method of indicating world disapproval. As I understand the report of his remarks, he does not believe in sending people to Coventry. But you can still talk to people while at the same time refusing to buy from them. Thereby they are not completely isolated.

At any moment the South African government can show that it has repented for its misdeeds, so I hope that the Prime Minister would not oppose economic sanctions to bring South Africa back to its senses.

Everyone who has watched the President of Columbia, Dr. Alberto Lleras Camargo, on his visit to this country must feel that here is a man of deep understanding and great stature who is fully aware of the problems facing the United States and Latin America.

It is evident he feels that these problems can be solved and is ready to do his share to help develop a better U.S. understanding of them.

Visits such as this are of infinite value, and we should be grateful of the time President Camargo has given so that we might become better informed of the needs of our neighboring states.


(Copyright, 1960, 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, April 19, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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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.