My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK—I am writing this column the night before Thanksgiving and I realize it will be published on Friday, but I want you to know our plans for Thanksgiving Day.

As usual, we gather here at Hyde Park. I imagine many other families have a similar custom to ours of remembering in the midst of our Thanksgiving those whom we love who have left us. In some cases it is hard to accept the gaps that come in any family, particularly in the younger generation, and only if we can believe that there is a wisdom above our own can we bring ourselves to accept and to subdue our own wills in this belief.

It has been our custom to read one of my husband's Thanksgiving Day proclamations that we felt suited in some ways our mood of the present, and I am giving you here the one for this year, which was my husband's proclamation of November 21, 1933. Those were still dark days but the skies were beginning to clear on the home front, and some of the wishes that he expressed are wishes that we hope today will be true for us in the near future.

The spirit behind this Thanksgiving Day proclamation is one that I hope will sink deeply into the hearts of our people. The proclamation follows:

"I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do set aside and appoint Thursday, the thirtieth day of November 1933, to be a day of Thanksgiving for all our people.

"May we on that day in our churches and in our homes give humble thanks for the blessing bestowed upon us during the year by Almighty God.

"May we recall the courage of those who settled a wilderness, the vision of those who founded the Nation, the steadfastness of those who in every succeeding generation have fought to keep pure the ideal of equality of opportunity and hold clear the goal of mutual help in time of prosperity as in time of adversity.

"May we ask guidance in more surely learning the ancient truth that greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors.

"May we be grateful for the passing of dark days; for the new spirit of dependence one on another; for the closer unity of all parts of our wide land; for the greater friendship between our employers and those who toil; for a clearer knowledge by all nations that we seek no conquests and ask only honorable engagements by all peoples to respect the lands and rights of their neighbors; for the brighter day to which we can win through by seeking the help of God in a more unselfish striving for the common bettering of mankind.

"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed."

In line with the Thanksgiving season the Puerto Rican Archbishop James P. Davis, attending a meeting in Chicago, has reversed the strange orders of the bishops in Puerto Rico and has said that no one will be punished publicly or privately for having voted for Gov. Luis Munoz Marin's Popular Democratic party.

For a little while it seemed as though the bishops of Puerto Rico were trying to turn their little island, which is tied in so many ways to the United States into an adjunct of the Spanish government where the church is more powerful than the state and there is no separation between church and state. But the archbishop seems to have decided that on the whole it is wiser to keep the connection between the U.S. and Puerto Rico closer than the connection between Puerto Rico and Spain.

Having done the church great harm, they will now try to undo it, and one hopes fervently that they will be successful. But the whole proceeding is one that those who are truly interested in the democratic form of government and the respect for all religions would like to forget.

Nothing would please the Russians more than to see the United Nations forced to withdraw from the Congo. The Soviet Union has demanded such action for some time and has refused to pay its share toward the support of the U.N. forces. However, the Soviets would be glad to pay the bill if their own forces were to be allowed to move in.

These are the areas in which self-interest plays a prominent part. One is willing to pay for one's own advantage, but not to actually keep the African nations free of all outside control.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL