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Secretary of State Cordell Hull, speaking at the New York World’s Fair on the occasion of Pan-American Day, September 22, 1939.
It was ironic; the New York World’s Fair, which embodied the optimism and technology of a World of Tomorrow, would turn its attention to the War in Europe, which had broken out only days earlier. The peace and optimism the Fair brought with it was evaporating quickly as the clouds of war spread throughout Europe, and even cast a shadow of doubt over America’s potential involvement.
But America did it’s best to maintain some semblance of neutrality during those early months of the war, particularly with Latin-America
Here’s an excerpt from that address:
Cordell Hull: “Today, the American republics are supremely
fortunate in that they are at peace within and
without our hemisphere. Each of our republics
is ready to defend itself against any threat
to its security that may come from any part of
the world. At the same time, it is the unalterable
desire of each and every one of our nations to
remain at peace ourselves and to exercise all
influence in our power toward that
end that just and enduring peace may become
firmly established everywhere.
Less than a quarter of a century ago, 12 of
our American republics were involved in
world war. When that ordeal ended, all of us
were determined to devote our best efforts toward
the establishment of a world order in
which recourse to war as an instrument of accomplishing
national aims would be unthinkable.
Within the limitations of its own traditional
policy, each of our nations has since
sought to make its fullest practicable contribution
toward the attainment of that objective”.
Click on the player for the complete address, as it was given at The New York World’s Fair, September 22, 1939.