Eisenhower's speech 60 years ago called for "radio stations abroad, operated without government restrictions."

Posted: 28 Aug 2010   Print   Send a link
Historytimes.com, 26 August 2010, Richard Cummings: "Sixty years ago, September 4, 1950, World War II hero Dwight D. Eisenhower passionately called for an American Crusade for Freedom and support of Radio Free Europe in a speech that was broadcast over the four major radio networks. ... This speech not only kicked off the Crusade for Freedom campaign in 1950, but also set its tone and provided the base for the decade’s political slogans used in advertising campaigns supporting both the Crusade for Freedom and Radio Free Europe. Eisenhower was then president of Columbia University and a director of the National Committee for a Free Europe—the parent organization of RFE"

Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, text of Eisenhower's speech: "I speak tonight about the Crusade For Freedom. This Crusade is a campaign sponsored by private American citizens to fight the big lie with the big truth. It is a program that has been hailed by President Truman, and others, as an essential step in getting the case for freedom heard by the world's multitudes.

"Powerful Communist radio stations incessantly tell the world that we Americans are physically soft and morally corrupt; that we are disunited and confused; that we are selfish and cowardly; that we have nothing to offer the world but imperialism and exploitation.

"We need powerful radio stations abroad, operated without government restrictions, to tell in vivid and convincing form about the decency and essential fairness of democracy These stations must tell of our aspirations for peace, our hatred of war, our support of the United Nations and our constant readiness to cooperate with any and all who have these same desires.

"One such private station Radio Free Europe —is now in operation in Western Germany. It daily brings a message of hope and encouragement to a small part of the European masses. ...

"We must have efficiency and economy in all governmental expenditures, and we must concentrate all our resources to assure victory in this bitter, and probably prolonged struggle!"

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