AUGUST 15, 1962
CAMPOBELLO, NEW BRUNSWICK—Campaigning is a curious business. Many things which men would never consider doing in their everyday lives, they will do in a political campaign—and consider it entirely legitimate.
In New York City, I have backed the reform Democrats because I have felt that, particularly in the local leaders, this type of candidate was needed if we were going to build a strong new Democratic party with broad participation by the people in following democratic procedures. In the redistricting, our one reform candidate for Congress, William Fitts Ryan, is running in a part of Congressman Herbert Zelenko's old district, so that they are opponents in the primary on September 6. From the very beginning I have given Bill Ryan my complete and wholehearted backing.
In a piece of literature which Mr. Zelenko is circulating in his district, however, he quotes from a column which I wrote in relation to a bill which he got through the House this year on equal pay for equal work. This is an entirely separate question. I think everyone who is interested in this bill is extremely grateful to Mr. Zelenko for the work he has done on it. But his campaign hand-out is certainly giving the impression that I am backing Congressman Zelenko and not Bill Ryan for primary election on September 6.
This is what I mean by campaigning actions which would probably not be considered quite honest under other circumstances. In order that there may be no misunderstanding of this question, and in spite of the fact that I am not taking an active part in the New York City campaign, I want to make it crystal clear that my backing for the nomination for Congress is for William Fitts Ryan, and there has been no change in my attitude.
I am getting excellent rest and relaxation in the marvelous air up here after my bout with summer virus. Mr. and Mrs. Victor Hammer have been most kind in letting me have our old house, and it is delightful to be here.
I was sorry to miss the celebration last Monday when the International Bridge between Lubec, Maine, and Campobello Island was opened. Fortunately my son, Congressman James Roosevelt, and his wife were able to come up and take my place in participating in the ceremonies.
The bridge will tie the U.S. and this little Canadian island, which is close to the two small towns of Lubec and Eastport, much more closely together. It will make it easy for tourists to come across, and the fact that my husband loved the island and is so closely associated with the house will probably be an added attraction.
I noticed that President Kennedy has suggested that the island become a memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt. I doubt if this would be possible, but perhaps someday the governments of Canada and the U.S. may buy this house and grounds from the Hammer family. It could then be on view as one of the three places with which my husband's life was closely associated—Hyde Park, N.Y., Warm Springs, Georgia, and Campobello Island, New Brunswick. Perhaps it could be jointly owned and maintained by both governments in an arrangement worked out by the two.
The Hammers are kind enough to open part of the house to the public at all times, but they have closed it during my stay here, for which I am very grateful.
I certainly wish for the island and for our own mainland, Lubec, everything good that can come to them. May the opening of the bridge be a blessing and bring prosperity and additional friendship between the two most friendly nations in the world—Canada and the U.S.