The Charlotte News
Thursday, July 20, 1944
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports the twin stories that there had been a failed attempt on Hitler's life in the so-called
The report on the attack on Hitler, following by 16 hours the announcement of the fall of Tojo, indicated that a bomb had exploded in an undescribed location while Hitler met with his military staff at one of his many headquarters. A source in London speculated that it likely occurred at Breda in Holland, headquarters of Field Marshal Rommel.
The attack actually had taken place at the Wolf's Lair near Rastenburg in East Prussia. Hitler's life had been saved by the fortuitous supervention of a table leg after the briefcase placed near him had been nudged aside by one of the military personnel present at the meeting.
The piece describes Hitler as having been bruised and burned. His worst damage was loss of his pants.
The error in assuming that the attack took place at Rommel's headquarters might have been in some ways extraordinarily perceptive as evidence was subsequently uncovered by the Gestapo that Rommel had been involved in the plot, though not present, and would be forced in October as a result to commit suicide to avoid trial as a traitor with a foreordained conclusion.
The unidentified London source had surmised that the conflict between Rommel and Field Marshal Guenther Von Kluge over deployment of reserves, Rommel wanting to concentrate them in Normandy to resist the Allied invasion while Von Kluge wanted to hold them back for use further inland, had caused an irremediable rift in the command structure which had translated itself into the attempted coup.
Seriously injured in the blast, it was reported at the time, were Lt. General Schmundt, chief of the German Army's personnel division and chief military aide de camp to Hitler, and two lieutenant colonels, along with a "collaborator" named Berger.
The slightly injured included Col. General Alfred Jodl, Hitler's personal military aide, General Karl Bodenschatz, another aide, General Guenther Korten, chief of staff of the Luftwaffe, and three other generals, plus two admirals.
The blast had followed by a short time the removal of General Karl von Rundstedt from command in France and his replacement by Von Kluge, interpreted as a slap to the Prussian Junker military caste in favor of the generals who had risen through the ranks as Nazis, such as Rommel. The day before, another of the Junkers, Col. General Alexander Von Falkenhausen had been relieved of his command in Belgium and Northern France.
It was also reported that the death recently of Col. General Eduard Dietl in an airplane crash may have been the result of sabotage perpetrated by a rival military faction seeking to intercept a message being taken to Hitler by Dietl.
The plot had been orchestrated by Lieutenant Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg who, at 12:30 p.m., left the military conference with Hitler and proceeded to the washroom where he inserted a detonator into plastic explosives with a timed fuse of ten minutes. He then placed the bomb inside a briefcase, re-entered the conference room, placed the briefcase under the conference table, shortly thereafter took a pre-arranged phone call, left the room. The bomb detonated sometime between 12:40 and 12:50. Three officers, General Schmundt, General Korten, and Colonel Brandt, and the stenographer present died of their injuries.
Colonel Von Stauffenberg escaped the compound in his staff car and made his way to the Rastenburg airfield from which he departed for Berlin.
More than 5,000 people were arrested for alleged connection to the plot; more than 200 were executed. The principal plotters, in addition to Von Stauffenberg, were Ludwig Beck, Friedrich Olbright, Albrecht Mertz von Ouirnheim, and Werner von Haeften. Each of them were shot shortly after the failed coup. Hitler was subsequently reported to have reveled in viewing a film of the executions of some of the military plotters of the coup, as they were strangled with piano wire.
As we have suggested previously, to what degree these men would have proved to have been heroes to Germany in the end is perhaps best viewed within the context of the story which follows on Japan. To what degree, in other words, this coup was merely a palace coup which sought suit for peace on more favorable terms than unconditional surrender, intending the while to retain German military strength after the war for a future date with destiny, or whether it was by design simply to wrest control of the German military situation into the hands of the Junkers and away from the Nazi Party, trading one form of totalitarianism for another, cannot truly be told by any historian. Thus, to make of these men necessarily heroes in retrospect may do serious violence to history as it actually was transpiring. Indeed, had they succeeded in killing Hitler, more harm than good might have been the result to the Allies with the demon removed from Germany but the corrosive, demonic forces which enabled his coming to power still very much at work within the society.
For anyone to suggest, as is often the case by revisionists, that Hitler and his small coterie of confidantes, Goebbels, Himmler, Goering, et al., were the sole source of the Nazi Party and movement is to participate in fanciful expungement of a whole society run amok during the twenties. Else, the Nazis could not have garnered a third of the vote in 1932 and 1933 and could not have long sustained power after Hitler seized control after becoming Chancellor. While not all of Germany was to blame for the Nazis, certainly a substantial portion of the population was.
Of course, it is as foolhardy to blame any German alive today for the war and the Nazi scourge as it would have been in 1944 to have blamed anyone then alive in the United States for the Civil War.
The news from Tokyo indicated that Emperor Hirohito had authorized General Kuniaki Koiso, Governor General of Korea, and Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai, Premier in 1940, to form a new Cabinet. It was unprecedented that two leaders in Japan would act as co-Premiers, indicative of the desire to combine Army and Navy military authority to try to remedy the losing of the war to the Allies. The fact that two military leaders who favored expansionsim were chosen indicated no change of stance in the Government, that it still intended to act as a totalitarian militaristic regime bent on imperialism. Both General Koiso and Admiral Yonai had been strong proponents of Japanese imperialism.
General Koiso had been in the Cabinet of Admiral Yonai in 1940. In 1932, he had been chief of staff of the Kwantung Army during its conquest and occupation of Manchuria. Later, he headed the occupation army in Korea. He had been principally responsible for formulating the plans for the move southward in the Pacific to occupy the French and Dutch colonies, in Indo-china and the East Indies, the action which included, to ward off the United States while the occupation took place, the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, Guam, and Wake Isalnd, as well as the attacks on the British at Hong Kong and Singapore.
Thus, the change in regime signaled no change in resolve of the Japanese to prosecute the war, only an intent to prosecute it more efficiently.
The news came not quite a year after the fall of Mussolini on July 25, 1943, as the Allies overtook Sicily and moved closer to the inevitable invasion of Southern Italy, accomplished in early September.
Those shakeups in the Axis countries were juxtaposed to the news of the Democrats holding their orderly convention in Chicago to nominate President Roosevelt for a fourth term, the
Postmaster General Frank Walker, who had incurred quite a bit of ridicule from the public and press during the fall by his banning Esquire Magazine from the mails for its supposedly lewd content, endorsed Senator Harry Truman for the vice-presidency. Senator Truman, himself, while his backers predicted victory on the first or second ballot, stated, "I'm not campaigning for anything," indicating that he had not spoken to President Roosevelt after being listed by the President as his second choice behind the Vice-President for the nomination.
Vice-President Wallace was said to be on the comeback trail, his backers mustering support among the delegates, adding commitments by the 16 previously unpledged Kansas delegates to his prospective first-ballot total. The move signaled a potential trend among the 684.5 unpledged delegates which might carry the Vice-President over the top on the first ballot. The informal tally thus far showed Wallace with 319.5 votes, of which 154.5 came from unpledged but committed delegates. He would need to attract, however, 589 delegates, a majority of the 1,176 on hand, to garner the nomination.
As the delegate courting process occurred, the convention, after the rules committee had voted 23 to 10 against restoration of the Southern-favored two-thirds majority rule, was considering the adoption of a plank to the platform which would recognize the right of blacks "to vote equally with all citizens"—a right which had been recognized by ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment shortly after the Civil War, 79 years earlier.
The proposed plank was said to include in its language out of the drafting committee the statement: "We believe the racial and religious minorities have the right to live, develop and vote equally with all citizens and have the rights that are guaranteed by our Constitution. Congress should exert its full Constitutional power to protect these rights." The language was still subject to revision by the hundred-member platform committee before being presented to the convention at large.
The plank appeared, however, to be likely to cause a floor fight among Southerners. Tennessee's delegation, for instance, had withheld their endorsement of the President pending the final wording of the plank. As many as a hundred Southern delegates were expected to cast a protest vote against the President if the plank were adopted as written by the drafting committee.
A threat by the Southerners to carry their fight for the two-thirds majority rule to the convention floor had been averted by the rules committee's unanimous recommendation that the National Committee make a study of delegate reapportionment during the ensuing two years, the Southerners have presented a plan whereby the South would have larger delegations.
Only one non-Southern state, Nebraska, had voted for restoration of the two-thirds majority rule. That rule, before being abandoned after 1936, had previously provided the South effective veto power with regard to any convention action disfavored by the regional bloc.
In Normandy, heavy fighting continued five miles southeast of Caen and two to three and a half miles southwest of Troarn. Beyond the Orne River, the drive had surpassed the ruins of a large German shell factory, lying in ruins and full of German dead. In a bit of irony, a machine which had been used to make ammunition bore a stamp, "Made in Providence, R.I."
Near Vimont, an armored drive led by Lt. General Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor, captured during the African desert campaign in 1941 and escaped, had developed a four-mile wide spearhead south of Troarn, pushing into heavily defended German positions. The Troarn railway station had been captured by Second Army forces. A tank battle was ongoing.
Canadian troops pushed directly south of Caen and were fighting five miles away at Bourguebus, having taken several villages in the vicinity.
Rommel's forces were in retreat, but it was not clear whether he would attempt to join battle in the Caen plain.
The St. Lo sector was relatively quiet, as American patrols were reported to have crossed the Ay River in the coastal area while other forces sought to clear out the remaining entrenched Germans in captured Lessay.
An underground revolt was reported by General Eisenhower's Headquarters to be occurring in Belgium.
From England, 2,000 American planes struck at oil and aircraft facilities in the vicinity of Leipzig while other American planes struck from Italy again at Munich, Memmingen, Bad-Worishofen, and Friedrichshaven, striking in the latter city the Maybach tank engine works, the Zeppelin factory, and the Lowenthal airdrome.
German radio announced that in Russia, the Red Army had reached Augustow at the base of the Suwalki Triangle in East Prussia, just eight miles from the East Prussian border. Lwow, Brest-Litovsk, Bialystok, Kaunas, and Daugavpils all along the 600-mile front were said to be close to falling. The Russians had reached the outskirts of both Lwow and Brest-Litovsk, as they broke through the Bug River defense line for the first time.
On the editorial page, "Tojo" muses on the meaning of the ouster of the Premier and his Cabinet. It was unclear whether it meant that the Japanese hierarchy was coming to grips with its fatal course, but, regardless, it suggested a chaotic situation in Japan and therefore that the time was ripe for hitting them again militarily.
The Government had asserted as the basis for the change that Tojo's Cabinet could not keep pace with the intense desires of the people.
More likely, it was a move made of desperation out of the realization that they had grabbed for too much territory too quickly without the resources to hold onto it.
"Good Times" speculates on the times ahead as economists predicted that the customary annual national income of between 60 and 80 billion dollars would rise to a whopping 125 to 200 billion after the war. They were betting on the European war ending in 1944 and the war in the Pacific in 1945, with the annual income during the year after the war dipping to 110 billion, but soaring to 150 billion in 1947.
The piece suggests holding on to war bonds as the public would not need to negotiate them should times prove as lush as predicted.
"Balky Mule", in thinking of the Democrats' symbolic beast of burden, had spotted a piece by Cliff Avery of the Morganton News-Herald in which was described a particularly laborsome ass who refused to budge in the middle of a cornfield. The farmer unhitched him from the plow and went home, leaving the recalcitrant to his established position.
Along came a turkey buzzard who lit on the mule for a meal, started chewing at his hip, whereupon the suddenly enlivened animal swatted the buzzard with his tail, grabbing it by the scruff of the neck, and dragged it home with him to his stable.
The editor then had a good
"Compromise?" asserts that the Southerners and Northern blacks were bound to reach compromise at the convention, probably along the lines of one getting their desires nourished by the vice-presidential nominee while the other would have their way with the plank in the platform anent race.
Either way, their mutual threat to bolt the party and support the Republican ticket was hollow. The Southerners would not desert the party to which they had been loyal since the Civil War. Blacks would not go to the Republicans for the fact that they had been treated with broken promises by the Party previously and knew it to be no place of shelter for minorities.
The time was ripe for blacks to make demands, that they could secure better their demands at this juncture in the road than at any foreseeable time in the future. But, too, it was also providential timing for the Southerners to stop such a movement.
Yet, both groups knew that the President was the horse to back for their mutual, if segregated, advantage economically.
Drew Pearson examines the Democratic vice-presidential line-up of candidates. He begins with Vice-President Wallace, highlighting his Texas secretary, Harold Dixon Young, who had urged Wallace to stay in the race and had been instrumental in organizing grassroots support for the Vice-President, which still made him favorite in the race at the convention, despite the fact that the party bosses almost uniformly opposed him.
He next turns to James Byrnes, the War Mobilizer and former Justice of the Supreme Court and Senator from South Carolina—who had the day before removed his name from consideration after hearing that the President had named Harry Truman his second choice for the nomination and Justice William O. Douglas as his third choice. In 1940, Mr. Byrnes had removed his name from consideration for the position because Jim Farley had told him that his having been born Catholic, though having converted to Protestantism, would hurt him in the country at large.
His most significant deficit, however, might come from the fact that he could not effectively court the black vote for his previous opposition while in the Senate to the anti-poll tax legislation and anti-lynching laws.
Next, Mr. Pearson views the chances of Alben Barkley, Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky, enjoying substantial support, especially among Southerners. But the President did not want Senator Barkley on the ticket for the fact of his bitter attacks on the President in response to the President's attack on the Congress in February when vetoing its passed tax bill which provided only a little over two billion dollars in increased revenue of the 12.5 billion sought by the Treasury to pay for the war. Although the liquor interests were behind the Senator, it was unlikely he could be nominated without the President's support.
He then assesses the chances William O. Douglas, finds him the most personally prefrred of the candidates by Roosevelt, but less attractive for his inability to obtain votes across the country. He had, however, always been at odds with Governor Dewey, even from the time when they were Columbia Law School classmates, with Douglas at the top of the class and Dewey near the bottom. He had once refused to form a law partnership sought by Dewey.
Court of Appeals Judge and former Senator from Indiana Sherman Minton would be popular with political bosses and the people, as well might carry Indiana for the President. But he was not so well-known anymore since joing the Court of Appels.
Judge Minton would subsequently be appointed to the Supreme Court by President Truman.
Senator Truman had made such a reputation for himself with his Senate committee probing war scandals and inefficiency that the public had largely forgotten that he was the product of the notorious Kansas City Pendergast political machine, reminds Mr. Pearson. Governor Dewey would likely exploit this connection, but the people nevertheless had confidence in the man from Independence, Missouri.
Governor J. Melville Broughton of North Carolina was the only Southerner with black support. He had voted as a trustee of Shaw University in Raleigh, a black institution, to select a black president. He had received 30,000 black votes when he ran for Governor in 1940.
Republican Governor of New Hampshire John Winant had been listed by the President as a possibility, but the party bosses had nixed the idea of a bipartisan ticket.
Senator Joe Mahoney of Wyoming was one of the best qualified for the position but the fact that he was Catholic and came from a state with few electoral votes likely excluded his candidacy.
Wendell Willkie on the ticket would assure victory in November. The President had shied away from taking the lead on such a movement because it would appear as a political deal. But he would approve if the convention took such a direction and nominated him. The problem was that all of the political bosses were opposed to it.
Mr. Willkie would suffer a heart attack and die in October, before the election. Had he been the vice-presidential nominee of the Democrats, and all things had run true to course, it remains a question as to who would have succeeded him on the ticket with less than a month until election day. Or, would the President have run without a vice-presidential nominee, meaning that, at his death April 12, Edward Stettinius as Secretary of State, by virtue of the 1886 presidential succession law, would have become President? Or, more probably, would Cordell Hull instead have remained as Secretary of State rather than resigning three weeks after the election, such that he would have succeeded to the presidency in April?
Marquis Childs looks at the Democratic vice-presidential race at the convention and finds it to be signally important, not the usual. It was so for the fact that the retention of Vice-President Wallace meant a reffairmation of New Deal politics and the positioning of the Democratic Party as liberal, in contraposition to the conservative ticket put forward by the Republicans. A rejection of Wallace meant more of a moderate appeal, hoping to catch some disaffected Democrats on the right of the party. Dropping him, however, would, by the same token, disillusion millions who saw him as a symbol of the New Deal, especially in the Western states where he had cultivated a large following. These voters might stay away from the polls in November should Wallace not be on the ticket.
The Vice-President appeared to have a better chance of renomination than just a few days earlier, with so many candidates having now entered the race, itself an unusual condition. Most of the time, the party hierarchy and the presidential candidate had to cajole someone to accept the vice-presidential nomination, usually taking place in a smoke-filled room with a handful of people present.
Dorothy Thompson addresses the subject of President Roosevelt's accomplishments in twelve years in office, finds his place in history to have already been secured, regardless of whether he would win in the fall, which she believed was likely. She also believed that Vice-President Wallace would be retained by the convention.
The President had come to power at the same time in history as Hitler. She asserts, "I think it will be the judgment of history that he should survive in office his greatest enemy." The President would, of course, die 18 days before Hitler's suicide the following April 30, a strange quirk of history and providence.
The two ideals represented by each personage stood in stark contrast, on the one hand "Prussian socialism" built along the lines of the Nazi military-industrial oligarchy, on the other the New Deal. The one had brought the world to war by the inevitability of its imperialism and Germany to chaos and destruction, with the loss of its constitutional freedoms and free enterprise along the way. The other had spread the wealth to larger numbers of people than at any time in U.S. history, had expanded civil liberties, had fostered peace while meeting the crisis insistently foisted on the world by the Axis nations, led by Nazi Germany. Trade unions had flourished. The Hull policy of expanding world trade had left its mark indelibly on U.S. relations across the world and had done so positively.
In the end, Ms. Thompson believed that the President would be regarded as one of the greatest conservatives in U.S. history for the fact that he preserved institutions in a time of world chaos when institutional frameworks were threatened, had fallen by the wayside in favor of dictatorships throughout the Axis countries. No matter who succeeded FDR, whether in 1945 or in 1949, she posits that he would be remembered as the President who expanded the position and power of the United States on the world stage more than any other in prior history.
And so, of course, is President Roosevelt still regarded today.
Hal Boyle discusses the Graves Registration Unit on Normandy, those troops assigned to bury the dead. They had first come ashore at 4:00 p.m. on D-Day, were then pinned for twelve hours in an abandoned German trench between two concrete shelters, which they were afraid to enter for the possibility of boobytraps. After the beach was finally cleared, the eighteen men of the unit began their grim task, burying 457 men in three days. They had requested of the engineers that they dig a four-foot deep trench to accelerate the burial process. Individual graves were dug another foot in depth within the trench. After a painstaking process of insuring proper identity of each dead soldier, one dogtag was left on the body and another was placed on a white spray-painted cross above the grave.
Most of the dead had been caught in German crossfire while on the beach, hit in either the head or chest.
The duty was not only grim and gory but hazardous during the first few days after D-Day because of German sniper fire. More than once the gravediggers had to jump into the graves to avoid being hit.
The text of the President's acceptance speech delivered to the Democratic Convention on this night follows:
I have already indicated to you why I accept the nomination that you have offered me—in spite of my desire to retire to the quiet of private life.
You in this Convention are aware of what I have sought to gain for the Nation, and you have asked me to continue.
It seems wholly likely that within the next four years our armed forces, and those of our allies, will have gained a complete victory over Germany and Japan, sooner or later, and that the world once more will be at peace—under a system, we hope that will prevent a new world war. In any event, whenever that time comes, new hands will then have full opportunity to realize the ideals which we seek.
In the last three elections the people of the United States have transcended party affiliation. Not only Democrats but also forward-looking Republicans and millions of independent voters have turned to progressive leadership—a leadership which has sought consistently—and with fair success—to advance the lot of the average American citizen who had been so forgotten during the period after the last war. I am confident that they will continue to look to that same kind of liberalism to build our safer economy for the future.
I am sure that you will understand me when I say that my decision, expressed to you formally tonight, is based solely on a sense of obligation to serve if called upon to do so by the people of the United States.
I shall not campaign, in the usual sense, for the office. In these days of tragic sorrow, I do not consider it fitting. And besides, in these days of global warfare, I shall not be able to find the time. I shall, however, feel free to report to the people the facts about matters of concern to them and especially to correct any misrepresentations.
During the past few days I have been coming across the whole width of the continent, to a naval base where I am speaking to you now from the train.
As I was crossing the fertile lands and the wide plains and the Great Divide, I could not fail to think of the new relationship between the people of our farms and cities and villages and the people of the rest of the world overseas—on the islands of the Pacific, in the Far East, and in the other Americas, in Britain and Normandy and Germany and Poland and Russia itself.
For Oklahoma and California, for example, are becoming a part of all these distant spots as greatly as Massachusetts and Virginia were a part of the European picture in 1778. Today, Oklahoma and California are being defended in Normandy and on Saipan; and they must be defended there—for what happens in Normandy and Saipan vitally affects the security and well-being of every human being in Oklahoma and California.
Mankind changes the scope and the breadth of its thought and vision slowly indeed. In the days of the Roman Empire eyes were focused on Europe and the Mediterranean area. The civilization in the Far East was barely known. The American continents were unheard of.
And even after the people of Europe began to spill over to other continents, the people of North America in Colonial days knew only their Atlantic seaboard and a tiny portion of the other Americas, and they turned mostly for trade and international relationship to Europe. Africa, at that time, was considered only as the provider of human chattels. Asia was essentially unknown to our ancestors.
During the nineteenth century, during that era of development and expansion on this continent, we felt a natural isolation—geographic, economic, and political—an isolation from the vast world which lay overseas.
Not until this generation—roughly this century—have people here and elsewhere been compelled more and more to widen the orbit of their vision to include every part of the world. Yes, it has been a wrench perhaps—but a very necessary one.
It is good that we are all getting that broader vision. For we shall need it after the war. The isolationists and the ostriches who plagued our thinking before Pearl Harbor are becoming slowly extinct. The American people now know that all Nations of the world—large and small—will have to play their appropriate part in keeping the peace by force, and in deciding peacefully the disputes which might lead to war.
We all know how truly the world has become one—that if Germany and Japan, for example, were to come through this war with their philosophies established and their armies intact, our own grandchildren would again have to be fighting in their day for their liberties and their lives.
Some day soon we shall all be able to fly to any other part of the world within twenty-four hours. Oceans will no longer figure as greatly in our physical defense as they have in the past. For our own safety and for our own economic good, therefore—if for no other reason—we must take a leading part in the maintenance of peace and in the increase of trade among all the Nations of the world.
And that is why your Government for many, many months has been laying plans, and studying the problems of the near future—preparing itself to act so that the people of the United States may not suffer hardships after the war, may continue constantly to improve their standards, and may join with other Nations in doing the same. There are even now working toward that end, the best staff in all our history—men and women of all parties and from every part of the Nation. I realize that planning is a word which in some places brings forth sneers. But, for example, before our entry into the war it was planning which made possible the magnificent organization and equipment of the Army and Navy of the United States which are fighting for us and for our civilization today.
Improvement through planning is the order of the day. Even in military affairs, things do not stand still. An army or a navy trained and equipped and fighting according to a 1932 model would not have been a safe reliance in 1944. And if we are to progress in our civilization, improvement is necessary in other fields—in the physical things that are a part of our daily lives, and also in the concepts of social justice at home and abroad.
I am now at this naval base in the performance of my duties under the Constitution. The war waits for no elections. Decisions must be made—plans must be laid—strategy must be carried out. They do not concern merely a party or a group. They will affect the daily lives of Americans for generations to come.
What is the job before us in 1944?First, to win the war—to win the war fast, to win it overpoweringly. Second, to form worldwide international organizations, and to arrange to use the armed forces of the sovereign Nations of the world to make another war impossible within the foreseeable future. And third, to build an economy for our returning veterans and for all Americans—which will provide employment and provide decent standards of living.
The people of the United States will decide this fall whether they wish to turn over this 1944 job—this worldwide job—to inexperienced or immature hands, to those who opposed lend-lease and international cooperation against the forces of aggression and tyranny, until they could read the polls of popular sentiment; or whether they wish to leave it to those who saw the danger from abroad, who met it head-on, and who now have seized the offensive and carried the war to its present stages of success—to those who, by international conferences and united actions have begun to build that kind of common understanding and cooperative experience which will be so necessary in the world to come.
They will also decide, these people of ours, whether they will entrust the task of postwar reconversion to those who offered the veterans of the last war breadlines and apple-selling and who finally led the American people down to the abyss of 1932; or whether they will leave it to those who rescued American business, agriculture, industry, finance, and labor in 1933, and who have already planned and put through much legislation to help our veterans resume their normal occupations in a well-ordered reconversion process.
They will not decide these questions by reading glowing words or platform pledges—the mouthings of those who are willing to promise anything and everything—contradictions, inconsistencies, impossibilities—anything which might snare a few votes here and a few votes there.
They will decide on the record—the record written on the seas, on the land, and in the skies.
They will decide on the record of our domestic accomplishments in recovery and reform since March 4, 1933.
And they will decide on the record of our war production and food production—unparalleled in all history, in spite of the doubts and sneers of those in high places who said it cannot be done.
They will decide on the record of the International Food Conference, of U.N.R.R.A., of the International Labor Conference, of the International Education Conference, of the International Monetary Conference.
And they will decide on the record written in the Atlantic Charter, at Casablanca, at Cairo, at Moscow, and at Teheran.
We have made mistakes. Who has not?
Things will not always be perfect. Are they ever perfect, in human affairs?
But the objective at home and abroad has always been clear before us. Constantly, we have made steady, sure progress toward that objective. The record is plain and unmistakable as to that—a record for everyone to read.
The greatest wartime President in our history, after a wartime election which he called the "most reliable indication of public purpose in this country," set the goal for the United States, a goal in terms as applicable today as they were in 1865—terms which the human mind cannot improve:
". . . .with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the Nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves,
and with all Nations."
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