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

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NEW YORK, Thursday—November 22 marked the 150th anniversary of the convening of the first joint session of the Congress in Washington after the city became the permanent seat of the Federal government. This anniversary did not come to my attention until just the other day. November 22 was the closing date of the official sesquicentennial period that opened on April 15 on the steps of the Capitol with the impressive salute to freedom. The official emblem of the SesquiCentennial Commission was the symbol of freedom that crowns the Capitol dome and the motto was: "Progress Through Freedom".

Freedom is a very appropriate subject for everyone to think about seriously these days. There is a threat to freedom in Korea that may react on our freedom here in this country just as it may react on the freedom of all the peoples throughout the world.

What was thought to be an easy victory within our grasp in Korea has suddenly turned into a retreat by the attack in Korea of great numbers of Chinese Communists.

The course of events here in the United Nations proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Chinese Communists are completely dominated by the Russians. It was the Soviets, and not the Chinese who laid down the first charges of aggression in Korea after the arrival of of the Chinese Communist delegates. When the Chinese delegate spoke in the Security Council it was the words of Vishinsky that one seemed to recognize.

It is natural, I suppose, for the peoples of Europe to be nervous. But I would like to recall to the British—if what I read in yesterday's paper is true—that once upon a time there was an opportunity to prevent the invasion of Manchuria by the Japanese and the United Kingdom would not join us in helping to do so. Later, Hitler was appealed to by a British statesman, who undoubtedly with the best of intentions was trying to save the world from war, but nothing was accomplished except to give Hitler more time for preparation and to lull into temporary quiet the fears of the rest of the world.

The threat today is analogous to the threat of Hitler and it cannot be met by appeasement. Every time we yield to a little more enslavement here or there in the world, we are one step nearer to our own enslavement.

Our troops will re-form and stand firm, but in the meantime leaders in the United Nations, representing the free peoples of the world, must not give away the freedom for which all the U.N. forces are fighting and dying in Korea.

The United States has not been an aggressor in this war, nor has the United Nations. There must be unity and firmness among the free nations of the world, or we will play into the hands of the Russians. The United Nations does not intend to invade Chinese or Russian territory. There should be willingness to consider a zone along the border of Korea that could be kept free of all military occupation. But to allow the Russians or Chinese Reds to believe that they are in the right and can intimidate the world of free and peace-loving people is to court ultimate disaster.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 1, 1950

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.