Thursday, April 16, 2015



Columbia, South Carolina (JFK+50) Sixty-eight years ago today, April 16, 1947, Bernard Baruch*, adviser to Presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin D. Roosevelt, spoke at the unveiling of his portrait in the South Carolina House of Representatives here in Columbia.

Baruch said:

"Let us not be deceived.  We are today in the midst of a cold war.  Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home.  Let us never forget this:  our unrest is the heart of their success.

The peace of the world is the hope and the goal of our political system; it is the despair and defeat of those who stand against us."

Then speaking to a United States Senate special committee on October 24, 1947, Mr. Baruch said...

"Although the shooting is over, we are in the midst of a cold war which is getting warmer..."

The term COLD WAR should be attributed to Baruch's speech writer, Herbert Bayard Swope.   Walter Lippman, the noted columnist for the New York Herald Tribune and a good friend of Mr. Baruch, first used the term in one of his articles in September 1947. Identifying the power struggle between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the aftermath of World War II, the term would be used for the next 50 years. 

Mr. Baruch purchased a former rice plantation located in Georgetown County, South Carolina named Hobcaw Barony** between 1905 and 1907.  The multi-millionaire spent winters at the estate and entertained guests which included FDR and Winston Churchill.

Bernard Baruch became known in his later years as the "Park Bench Statesman."  He enjoyed sitting on a bench near the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park across from the White House talking government and finance to anyone who would listen.

On his 90th birthday in 1960, the Bernard Baruch Bench of Inspiration was dedicated in Lafayette Park by the Boy Scouts of America.

*Bernard Mannes Baruch (1870-1965) was born in Camden, SC.  His family moved to New York City in 1881 and he graduated from the City College of NY. BMB became a partner in the A.A. Housman and Company and by 1910 was one of the best known financiers on Wall Street.

During WWI, BMB served on the Advisory Committee to the Council of National Defense and was chairman of the War Industries Board.  During WWII, he was special adviser to the director of the Office of War Mobilization.

Bernard Baruch
Harris and Ewing Photo
Library of Congress Image

**Hobcaw Barony is located on Waccamaw Neck on the coast of South Carolina.  The property is now owned by the Belle W. Baruch Foundation. In 1994 the plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Hobcaw Plantation
Georgetown, SC (1944)
Gottscho-Schleisner Collection
Library of Congress


"Bernard Baruch coins term 'Cold War,' April 16, 1947, by Andrew Glass,

"Landmarks:  The Bernard Baruch Bench of Inspiration,"

"Respectfully Quoted:  A Dictionary of Quotations," 1989,