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

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NEW YORK—The newspapers are full these days of charges and countercharges by the United States and Soviet representatives and reports of when our men go on trial in the Soviet Union. Then we find some Soviet official here who has done something which we can label as espionage and a demand made that this particular diplomat be recalled for this specific act of spying.

It certainly is not as unpleasant to be recalled from a diplomatic post as it is to be put on trial and perhaps put to death, which is what our Americans who are coming up for trial in the Soviet Union are now worrying about.

According to the news reports, one of the naive young wives of those Americans wrote a plea to Premier Nikita Khrushchev to which she has not received a reply. This is not surprising to any of us. It is rare for Premier Khrushchev, probably, even to see this kind of a plea. His office in the Kremlin is quite capable of burying a request for weeks at a time, and perhaps forgetting it altogether.

Amid all the talk of more military preparation and stronger and tougher response to the Soviet Union, which is undoubtedly necessary, there is one "small voice of peace." It began this month in Holiday Magazine and consists of "a series of articles on the agencies of the United Nations, a subject that must interest anyone who wants to live out a span of life in peace."

In this series, the story will be told not only of the day-by-day work of the specialized agencies like WHO, the World Health Organization, but also the story of UNICEF, which is the subject of the first article.

I think anyone will find it a fascinating and moving story of what can be done for children if you care enough. And as you read the story you are confronted with one of the great problems of the world today, namely, that as we improve the health of older people through WHO, and of the children through UNICEF, we increase the world's population.

The statistical study of population shows that "man took something like 200,000 years to increase his kind to 2 billion, 500 million. At the present rate of increase, he will need only 30 years to add another 2 billion," which means that, barring change, mankind will nearly double on this earth in a generation.

As one would expect, the great increase comes in the underdeveloped areas of the world, and it may seem strange, but this population increase may well be one of the causes of war in the long run.

I remember years ago an old friend of mine saying that the Lord allowed human beings to have a mind in order that they might use it, and this is one of the problems on which the minds of human beings ought to focus in the next years.

We know that as living conditions improve, the rate of population increase drops, but to reach and keep a balance in the first place is one of the subjects that must concern us seriously. The fact remains, however, that the humanitarian work of UNICEF, with the help of WHO, when needed, is producing a healthier population and that is very much to be desired.

All of us who feel that the public should know more of the day-by-day activities of the U.N. will watch for these articles with a great deal of interest and gratitude that they are to appear as a series.


(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, July 25, 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.