October 8, 1949
Introduced by Eleanor Roosevelt and under the auspices of the college and the Dutchess County Council on World Affairs, Columbia Broadcasting System journalist Edward R. Murrow lectured in the Chapel on "America Is an Island." "America, the island, is regarded," wrote Barbar Lechtman '52 in The Miscellany News, "with both fear and admiration, but unfortunately, Mr. Murrow said, the fear far outweighs the admiration. And though we my believe that we have found the answer to th political, social and economic questions of our time, others outside do not agree. Outside we are regarded rather as a 'test tube,' with many problems as yet unsolved." Looking critically at United States perceptions of and relations with the Soviet Union and Western Europe—Germany in particular—Murrow predicted that the Marshall Plan for European recovery would fail.
In conclusion, Murrow, said Miss Lechtman, asked, "What should our future course be? Mr. Murrow has a few suggestions. We in this country must show the many people looking for new allegiances, the hungry people looking for a system, that we have a system to which they can turn for bread and security.... We cannot, according to economic expedience, oppose dictatorship in Russia and support it in Spain and elsewhere. We must recognize our friends and the fact that our power and position demand a high degree of steadiness and calmness. We must create a public opinion that will sustain a foreign policy. But above all, 'the most urgent task that confronts the world today is education.'" The Miscellany News
Edward R. Murrow interviewed President Sarah Gibson Blanding in the President's House via television from New York City on his interview program, "Person to Person" in March 1959, and a few years after his death in 1965, Murrow's journalism was the subject in the fall of 1974 of a two month survey at Vassar that included showings of many of his programs, and that culminated in a panel discussion among several of his friends and colleagues.