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The Donald S. Fredrickson Papers

"Freedom from Want" (Donald Fredrickson's high school valedictorian address) pdf (302,120 Bytes) transcript of pdf
"Freedom from Want" (Donald Fredrickson's high school valedictorian address)
Page two of Fredrickson's address is missing from the collection.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (302,120 Bytes)
1942-06 (June 1942)
Fredrickson, Donald S.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Quality of Life
Exhibit Category:
Biographical Information
Box Number: 10
Folder Number: 35
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Writings, 1910-2001 (bulk 1964-1995)
SubSeries: Speeches and Unpublished Materials, 1942-1995
Folder: #1 Freedom From Want, 1942
Freedom from Want
The talks that have gone before have dealt strongly with our American heritage and guarantees of freedom that are tangible in practice yet are not material. We thank God with our hearts for the freedom of religion which allows one to rise to as high a spiritual plane as he wishes. We cannot reach out and grasp with our hands our equality of justice and our lack of fear. We easily feel and utilize our freedom of expression, but cannot touch it with our hands. But -- you can reach into your pockets and grasp your loose change. It is the one truly tangible symbol of the economic supremacy of the American way of life -- the great assurance of freedom from want.
True, in all other lands, men carry with the yen, the schilling, and the peso and other mediums of exchange. Yet in no other portion of the globe can such a large majority of the people avail themselves of luxuries over and above the necessities of life as we can in America. It is not national bigotry to say, economically we are the greatest nation on earth. America is not geographically tremendous. She has only seven per cent of the world's land area. Yet from her rocky Atlantic coast to her smooth Pacific harbors lie enormous resources, and riches, much of them still undiscovered and undeveloped. America's population in comparison with her area, is small. And, therein lies a factor in our economic superiority. All our vast wealth and production gives our citizens the highest per capita wealth of the people of all nations.
presents a condition which we must try to correct before we can reach the ideal of democratic living.
Internationally, we want to help found the new world that is to rise out of this World War II upon such principles as are outlined in the Atlantic Charter, as drawn up by Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt during their meeting in the Atlantic last August. The United States and Great Britian, speaking for all the United Nations through these two men, have set forth these words, "they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing for all, improved security". In another point, they also hope to see a peace established that will assure me of a life that is freed from want.
Among the condition for tomorrow's peace, then, are found many of the freedoms we today defend. Before, the democratic nationswho fight the Axis, can insure the establishment of a free world in the peace after this war, it is our duty to gain victory in this war. By such a victory, and by it alone, can we prove the supremacy of a free people. We must wipe out such phrases as "the inefficiency of democracy". Our victory must be one of a people who gain their strength by their freedom from fear and opporession, and freedom from economic despair.
When peace again settles down upon the world, we Americans, who are freest from want and who feel least the stigma of class barriers, must lead in laying a foundation upon which the next world shall rise. And, the cornerstone of that foundation must contain the rights for which we have sacrificed in years past and which we defend with our lives today: freedom of speech and the press, freedom of religion, freedom from fear, and freedom from want.
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