My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Monday—It is certainly distressing to read that one of our planes has been shot down by Soviet aircraft. I imagine that our bomber was patrolling the coast and, as occasionally happens, found it difficult to keep from straying outside the narrow air lane into enemy territory. In peacetime, it seems to me that such things require a certain amount of goodwill on both sides. Since the Soviet Union and the U.S. are not at war, they should give ample warning to any American plane that may wander off its course. They should give it a chance to get back before they actually shoot and run the risk of starting a war. We, on the other hand, should make sure that our boys take every precaution themselves. When the weather is such that it is difficult to follow a course, perhaps it would be wise to be overcautious.

I was very happy that the President did not follow Senator Knowland's rather hasty, belligerent reaction to this incident. Breaking off diplomatic relations with the USSR does not seem to me at the present time to be the way to bring such unfortunate incidents to a close. Instead, suggestions for more careful behavior on both sides might bring some good results.

* * *

On Wednesday night in New York I had the pleasure of welcoming to this country the six young business and professional people here from Nottingham, England. Originally there were only two fellowships, and this was raised to four immediately after the war in memory of my husband. But as the years go by this three-month trip to the U.S.—during which each holder of a fellowship studies here the work in which he has already been active in Nottingham—evidently must have had good results, since the numbers have increased steadily to the current six.

This year there are three young women and three young men, and the range of their interests is wide. One girl is a textile designer, and another a social worker specializing in speech therapy. One boy is a surgeon, another is in industrial and personnel relations, a third in hotel and restaurant furnishings. Practically all of them are going to cover the whole United States, giving them a broad view of both their own special interests and of this country as a whole. As the years have gone on, I think the Mayor and the committee who raise the money, and keep the interest in it alive, think of these fellowships as a means to increase goodwill and understanding between our two nations.

During my two days in town I did a number of other things, even finding time to go into Arnold Constable's and choose two dresses to meet the needs of the forthcoming lecture and organizing trips for the American Association for the U.N. They are beginning to come nearer and nearer, though when I planned for them I felt they were very far away.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL