A Little Happier: Why General Eisenhower Sent a 15-Word Telegram Instead of an Elaborate Message.

This  story makes me choke up, every time.

I came across so many powerful stories like this when I was researching Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill. What a subject!

Have you ever had an experience like this — when you felt that you could say more, by using fewer words?

Sometimes, a lot of words only diminish what we want to convey.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:


Happier listening!

  • Muddy

    It would be nice if i could figure out how to read the words on the telegram. All the usual tricks were unavailing. Could you please transcribe it for us? Thanks.

    • gretchenrubin

      It’s just what I read in the episode! Nothing more.

      • Goldberry

        Could you also include the text of Eisenhower’s telegram in your post? Sometimes it is easier to read than to listen… Thank you!

        • gretchenrubin

          “The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945. – Eisenhower.”

          • Goldberry

            Thank you Gretchen!

  • ekwacillin

    Gretchen, it’s not legible from the image…would you be able to transcribe it in your post? Thanks!

  • Elle

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It also choked me up. I have come to greatly admire Eisenhower. (Can you tell us where you got the image? I would like to share it with teachers and students.)

  • Justine Clarke

    Thank you for sharing Gretchen, clear and concise communication is truly an art.