Eleanor Roosevelt
First Lady of the United States
Eleanor Roosevelt
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, holding the post from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, distant cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights and working women. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt served in the first US delegation to the United Nations, where she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Biography
Eleanor Roosevelt's personal information overview.
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News
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Women Celebrate 'Equality Day' At State Capitol - Rockdale Citizen
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... including a few elected officials and several political action group leaders, gathered Friday at the State Capitol in Atlanta to remember the contributions and words of several famous women, such as Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt
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Eleanor Roosevelt's Old Lenox Hill Townhouse Sells for $5M Discount - Curbed NY
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The heavily-decorated Lenox Hill townhouse where Eleanor Roosevelt lived in the '50s just sold for $9.5 million, a full $5 million less than the initial ask of $14.5 million. It's also less than the $10.4 million the previous owner payed for the place
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Bowie Goalkeeper Part of a Maryland Revival - Patch.com
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City resident was a standout at Eleanor Roosevelt and is now in her last season with the Terps, who host No. 1 Stanford on Friday. By David Driver Balogun started every game last year for Maryland. Maryland athletics In 2006, the year before Yewande
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Some Dubuque Teachers Disagree With SINA List - Eastern Iowa Schools
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So is Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School. For two straight years, student test scores haven't improved enough. By looking only at the Iowa Test of Basic Skills scores, students at Table Mound seem to be struggling academically
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Roosevelt Hosts Back to School Fair - Patch.com
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Sponsors for the county's Inaugural Back to School Fair and organizations in the community fill the cafeteria of Eleanor Roosevelt High School on Aug. 20, 2011, in Greenbelt, Md. Jolie A. Doggett Before Monday's kick off for a new
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Eleanor Roosevelt in the modern age of today - Austin Herald
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“A democratic form of government, a democratic way of life…presupposes also an education for personal responsibility that is too often neglected.” — Eleanor Roosevelt My mother-in-law let me borrow two books on Eleanor Roosevelt a few years back
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Olivia Williams on being Eleanor Roosevelt - Telegraph.co.uk
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I would like to think, as I write this, that I am preparing for my next role, Eleanor Roosevelt, who among myriad other duties and passions, wrote a daily syndicated newspaper column from 1935 to 1962. After some slightly undignified begging and
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Brigid O'Farrell - Eleanor Roosevelt Event - SLC News & Events
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Sarah Lawrence is a coeducational liberal arts college, offering undergraduate as well as graduate degrees. Located just north of New York City on a wooded campus, the College is nationally renowned for its rigorous academic and creative standards
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Aliquippa fire victims moved from temporary shelter to hotel rooms - Beaver County Times
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ALIQUIPPA -- Residents of Aliquippa's Eleanor Roosevelt Apartments displaced by a Sunday morning fire have all been moved out of a temporary shelter at the Hopewell Junior High School, according to Red Cross spokesman Brian Knavish
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Charles Walsh: What if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly? - Ct Post
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Even for a man whose skin has turned the color of homemade root beer, the heat at Bench 22 on the Seaside Park seawall was just too much. "Sonny," said The Old Geezer, "I only talk in air-conditioned conditions. I'm so hot I feel like having someone
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A woman of power: Mary McLeod Bethune - Daily Kos
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Eleanor Roosevelt respected Bethune to the extent that the segregation rules at the Southern Conference on Human Welfare in 1938, being held in Birmingham, Alabama, were changed on Roosevelt's request so she could sit next to Bethune
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Roosevelt's Petty Picks Terps - Patch.com
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Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Shawn Petty carries the ball in a game against Wise last fall, 2010. Emma Patti Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Shawn Petty had a feeling that a scholarship offer from the
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Eleanor Roosevelt quarterback-linebacker Shawn Petty commits to Maryland - Washington Post (blog)
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Eleanor Roosevelt quarterback Shawn Petty tries to elude Wise's Jaiyen Franklin in a September 2010 game. (James A. Parcell - FOR WASHINGTON POST) Maryland already had commitments from a pair of quarterbacks, but Eleanor Roosevelt rising
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Eleanor Roosevelt Portrayed As Controversial - Patch.com
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Roberta Randall does a one-woman show at the Niles Historical Society about the life and times of Eleanor Roosevelt. By Geneva Toledano | Email the author | 5:55am Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's legacy was explored by Roberta Randall at the
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Eleanor Roosevelt
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1962
    Age 77
    Among other prominent attendees, President Kennedy and former presidents Truman and Eisenhower honored Roosevelt at funeral services in Hyde Park on November 10, 1962, where she was interred next to her husband in the rose garden at "Springwood", the Roosevelt family home.
    More Details Hide Details At the services, Adlai Stevenson II said: "What other single human being has touched and transformed the existence of so many?", adding, "She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world." After her death, her family deeded the family vacation home on Campobello Island to the governments of the U.S. and Canada, and in 1964 they created the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. In 1965, The Eleanor Roosevelt Story was released; it was a 1965 American biographical documentary film directed by Richard Kaplan. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1965. The Academy Film Archive preserved it in 2006. In 1972, the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute was founded; it merged with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Foundation in 1987 to become the Roosevelt Institute. The Roosevelt Institute is a liberal American think tank. According to the organization, it exists "to carry forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by developing progressive ideas and bold leadership in the service of restoring America’s promise of opportunity for all." It is headquartered in New York, New York.
    Her daughter Anna took care of Roosevelt when she was terminally ill in 1962.
    More Details Hide Details President John F. Kennedy ordered all United States flags lowered to half-staff throughout the world on November 8 in tribute to Roosevelt.
    In 1962, she was given steroids, which activated a dormant case of bone marrow tuberculosis, and she died of resulting cardiac failure at her Manhattan home at 55 East 74th Street on the Upper East Side on November 7, 1962, at the age of 78.
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    Anna took care of her mother when she was terminally ill in 1962.
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  • 1961
    Age 76
    In 1961, President Kennedy's undersecretary of labor, Esther Peterson proposed a new Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy appointed Roosevelt to chair the commission, with Peterson as director. This was Roosevelt's last public position. She died just before the commission issued its report. It concluded that female equality was best achieved by recognition of gender differences and needs, and not by an Equal Rights Amendment. Throughout the 1950s, Roosevelt embarked on countless national and international speaking engagements; continued to pen her newspaper column; and made appearances on television and radio broadcasts. She averaged one hundred fifty lectures a year throughout the fifties, many devoted to her activism on behalf of the United Nations. Roosevelt received the first annual Franklin Delano Roosevelt Brotherhood Award in 1946. Other notable awards she received during her life postwar included the Award of Merit of the New York City Federation of Women's Clubs in 1948, the Four Freedoms Award in 1950, the Irving Geist Foundation Award in 1950, and the Prince Carl Medal (from Sweden) in 1950. She was the most admired living woman, according to Gallup's most admired man and woman poll of Americans, in 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, and 1961.
  • 1960
    Age 75
    In April 1960, Roosevelt was diagnosed with aplastic anemia soon after being struck by a car in New York City.
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  • 1958
    Age 73
    In 1958 the play Sunrise at Campobello premiered, about Franklin Roosevelt's struggle with polio.
    More Details Hide Details Mary Fickett, who played Eleanor, was nominated for Best Supporting or Featured Actress in a Play. In 1960 a film adaptation of the play premiered, also called Sunrise at Campobello. It was produced with the cooperation of the Roosevelt family, and Eleanor herself was present on the set during location shooting at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York. Greer Garson, who played Eleanor, won the Golden Globe and National Board of Review Award for Best Actress. The film received four Academy Award nominations: Best Actress (Garson), Art Direction, Sound and Costume Design.
  • 1953
    Age 68
    She resigned from her UN post in 1953, when Dwight D. Eisenhower became President.
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  • 1952
    Age 67
    She addressed the Democratic National Convention in 1952 and 1956.
    More Details Hide Details Although she had reservations about John F. Kennedy for his failure to condemn McCarthyism, she supported him for president against Richard Nixon. Kennedy later reappointed her to the United Nations, where she served again from 1961 to 1962, and to the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps. By the 1950s, Roosevelt's international role as spokesperson for women led her to stop publicly criticizing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), although she never supported it. In the early 1960s, she announced that, due to unionization, she believed the ERA was no longer a threat to women as it once may have been and told supporters that they could have the amendment if they wanted it.
    She supported Adlai Stevenson for president in 1952 and 1956, and urged his renomination in 1960.
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    When President Truman backed New York Governor W. Averell Harriman, a close associate of DeSapio, for the 1952 Democratic presidential nomination, Roosevelt was disappointed.
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  • 1949
    Age 64
    In 1949, she was made an honorary member of the historically black organization Alpha Kappa Alpha.
    More Details Hide Details She was an early supporter of the Encampment for Citizenship, a non-profit organization that conducts residential summer programs with year-round follow-up for young people of widely diverse backgrounds and nations. She routinely hosted encampment workshops at her Hyde Park estate, and when the program was attacked as "socialistic" by McCarthyite forces in the early 1950s, she vigorously defended it. In 1954, Tammany Hall boss Carmine DeSapio led the effort to defeat Eleanor's son, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., in the election for New York Attorney General. Eleanor grew increasingly disgusted with DeSapio's political conduct through the rest of the 1950s. Eventually, she would join with her old friends Herbert Lehman and Thomas Finletter to form the New York Committee for Democratic Voters, a group dedicated to opposing DeSapio's reincarnated Tammany Hall. Their efforts were eventually successful, and DeSapio was forced to relinquish power in 1961.
    Catholics comprised a major element of the Democratic Party in New York City. Roosevelt supported reformers trying to overthrow the Irish machine Tammany Hall, and some Catholics called her anti-Catholic. In July 1949, Roosevelt had a bitter public disagreement with Cardinal Francis Spellman, the Archbishop of New York, over federal funding for parochial schools.
    More Details Hide Details Spellman said she was anti-Catholic, and supporters of both took sides in a battle that drew national attention and is "still remembered for its vehemence and hostility."
  • 1946
    Age 61
    In April 1946, she became the first chairperson of the preliminary United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
    More Details Hide Details Eleanor remained chairperson when the Commission was established on a permanent basis in January 1947. She played an instrumental role, along with René Cassin, John Peters Humphrey and others, in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Eleanor spoke in favor of the Declaration, calling it "the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere" in a speech on the night of September 28, 1948. The Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The vote was unanimous, with eight abstentions: six Soviet Bloc countries as well as South Africa and Saudi Arabia. Roosevelt attributed the abstention of the Soviet bloc nations to Article 13, which provided the right of citizens to leave their countries. Roosevelt also served as the first United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and stayed on at that position until 1953, even after stepping down as chair of the Commission in 1951. The UN posthumously awarded her one of its first Human Rights Prizes in 1968 in recognition of her work.
    The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum opened on April 12, 1946, setting a precedent for future presidential libraries. In December 1945, President Harry S. Truman appointed Eleanor as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1942
    Age 57
    Roosevelt supported increased roles for women and African-Americans in the war effort, and began to advocate for factory jobs to be given to women a year before it became a widespread practice. In 1942, she urged women of all social backgrounds to learn trades, saying: "if I were of a debutante age I would go into a factory–any factory where I could learn a skill and be useful."
    More Details Hide Details Learning of the high rate of absenteeism among working mothers, she also campaigned for government-sponsored day care. She notably supported the Tuskegee Airmen in their successful effort to become the first black combat pilots, visiting the Tuskegee Air Corps Advanced Flying School in Alabama. She also flew with African-American chief civilian instructor C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson. Anderson, who had been flying since 1929, and was responsible for training thousands of rookie pilots, took her on a half-hour flight in a Piper J-3 Cub. After landing, she cheerfully announced, "Well, you can fly all right." The subsequent brouhaha over the First Lady's flight had such an impact it is often mistakenly cited as the start of the Civilian Pilot Training Program at Tuskegee, even though the program was already five months old. Eleanor Roosevelt did use her position as a trustee of the Julius Rosenwald Fund to arrange a loan of $175,000 to help finance the building of Moton Field.
    In October 1942, Roosevelt toured England, visiting with American troops and inspecting British forces.
    More Details Hide Details Her visits drew enormous crowds and received almost unanimously favorable press in both England and America. In August 1943, she visited American troops in the South Pacific on a morale-building tour, of which Admiral William Halsey, Jr. later said, "she alone accomplished more good than any other person, or any groups of civilians, who had passed through my area." For her part, Roosevelt was left shaken and deeply depressed by seeing the war's carnage. A number of Congressional Republicans criticized her for using scarce wartime resources for her trip, prompting Franklin to suggest that she take a break from traveling.
  • 1941
    Age 56
    Also in 1941, the short film Women in Defense, written by Roosevelt, was released.
    More Details Hide Details It was produced by the Office of Emergency Management and briefly outlines the way in which women could help prepare the country for the possibility of war. There is also a segment on the types of costumes women would wear while engaged in war work. At the end of the film, the narrator explains women are vital to securing a healthy American home life and raising children "which has always been the first line of defense".
    Eleanor was also active on the home front. Beginning in 1941, she co-chaired the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) with New York City Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, working to give civilian volunteers expanded roles in war preparations. She soon found herself in a power struggle with LaGuardia, who preferred to focus on narrower aspects of defense, while she saw solutions to broader social problems as equally important to the war effort. Though LaGuardia resigned from the OCD in December 1941, Eleanor was forced to resign following anger in the House of Representatives over high salaries for several OCD appointments, including two of her close friends.
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    Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Roosevelt spoke out against anti-Japanese prejudice, warning against the "great hysteria against minority groups."
    More Details Hide Details She also privately opposed her husband's Executive Order 9066, which forced Japanese-Americans in many areas of the U.S. into internment camps. She was widely criticized for her defense of Japanese-American citizens, including in a call by the Los Angeles Times that she be "forced to retire from public life" over her stand on the issue. On May 21, 1937, Roosevelt visited Westmoreland Homesteads to mark the arrival of the community’s final homesteader. Accompanying her on the trip was the wife of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the president's Secretary of the Treasury. "I am no believer in paternalism. I do not like charities," she had said earlier. But cooperative communities such as Westmoreland Homesteads, she went on, offered an alternative to "our rather settled ideas" that could "provide equality of opportunity for all and prevent the recurrence of a similar disaster depression in the future." Residents were so taken by her personal expression of interest in the program that they promptly agreed to rename the community in her honor. (The new town name, Norvelt, was a combination of the last syllables in her names: EleaNOR RooseVELT.) The Norvelt firefighter's hall is also named Roosevelt Hall in honor of her.
  • 1940
    Age 55
    She was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences and in 1940 became the first to speak at a national party convention.
    More Details Hide Details She also wrote a daily (and widely syndicated) newspaper column, "My Day", another first for a presidential spouse. She was also the first First Lady to write a monthly magazine column and to host a weekly radio show. In the first year of FDR's tenure, determined to match his presidential salary, Eleanor earned $75,000 from her lectures and writing, most of which she gave to charity. By 1941, she was receiving lecture fees of $1,000. Roosevelt maintained a heavy travel schedule in her twelve years in the White House, frequently making personal appearances at labor meetings to assure Depression-era workers that the White House was mindful of their plight. In one famous cartoon of the time from The New Yorker magazine (June 3, 1933), satirizing a visit she had made to a mine, an astonished coal miner, peering down a dark tunnel, says to a co-worker, "For gosh sakes, here comes Mrs. Roosevelt!"
  • 1939
    Age 54
    Eleanor also broke with precedent by inviting hundreds of African-American guests to the White House. When the black singer Marian Anderson was denied the use of Washington's Constitution Hall in 1939 by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Eleanor resigned from the group in protest and helped arrange another concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
    More Details Hide Details Roosevelt later presented Anderson to the King and Queen of the United Kingdom after Anderson performed at a White House dinner. Roosevelt also arranged the appointment of African-American educator Mary McLeod Bethune, with whom she had struck up a friendship, as Director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. To avoid problems with the staff when Bethune would visit the White House, Eleanor would meet her at the gate, embrace her, and walk in with her arm-in-arm. The significance of Eleanor Roosevelt is she helped reform social life. She was involved by being "the eyes and the ears" of the New Deal. She looked to the future and was committed to social reform. One of those programs helped working women receive better wages. The New Deal also placed women into less machine work and more white collar work. Women did not have to work in the factories making war supplies because men were coming home so they could take over the long days and nights women had been working to contribute to the war efforts. Roosevelt brought unprecedented activism and ability to the role of the 1st Lady.
  • 1936
    Age 51
    Eleanor also began a syndicated newspaper column, titled "My Day", which appeared six days a week from 1936 to her death in 1962.
    More Details Hide Details In the column, she wrote about her daily activities but also her humanitarian concerns. Hickok and George T. Bye, Eleanor's literary agent, encouraged her to write the column. Beasley has argued that Roosevelt's publications, which often dealt with women's issues and invited reader responses, represented a conscious attempt to use journalism "to overcome social isolation" for women by making "public communication a two-way channel". On May 10, 1940, Germany invaded Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, marking the end of the relatively conflict-free "Phoney War" phase of World War II. As the U.S. began to move toward war footing, Roosevelt found herself again depressed, fearing that her role in fighting for domestic justice would become extraneous in a nation focused on foreign affairs. She briefly considered traveling to Europe to work with the Red Cross, but was dissuaded by presidential advisers who pointed out the consequences should the president's wife be captured as a prisoner of war. She soon found other wartime causes to work on, however, beginning with a popular movement to allow the immigration of European refugee children. She also lobbied her husband to allow greater immigration of groups persecuted by the Nazis, including Jews, but fears of fifth columnists caused Franklin to restrict immigration rather than expanding it. Eleanor successfully secured political refugee status for eighty-three Jewish refugees from the S.S. Quanza in August 1940, but was refused on many other occasions.
    On entering the White House, she signed a contract with the magazine Woman's Home Companion to provide a monthly column, in which she answered mail sent to her by readers; the feature was canceled in 1936 as another presidential election approached.
    More Details Hide Details She continued her articles in other venues, publishing more than sixty articles in national magazines during her tenure as First Lady.
  • 1935
    Age 50
    Roosevelt's relationship with the AYC eventually led to the formation of the National Youth Administration, a New Deal agency in the United States, founded in 1935, that focused on providing work and education for Americans between the ages of 16 and 25.
    More Details Hide Details The NYA was headed by Aubrey Willis Williams, a prominent liberal from Alabama who was close to Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins. Speaking of the NYA in the 1930s, Roosevelt expressed her concern about ageism, stating that "I live in real terror when I think we may be losing this generation. We have got to bring these young people into the active life of the community and make them feel that they are necessary." In 1939 the Dies Committee subpoenaed leaders of the AYC, who, in addition to serving the AYC, also were members of the Young Communist League. Roosevelt was in attendance at the hearings and afterward invited the subpoenaed witnesses to board at the White House during their stay in Washington D.C. Joseph P. Lash was one of her boarders. On February 10, 1940, members of the AYC, as guests of Roosevelt in her capacity as First Lady, attended a picnic on the White House lawn where they were addressed by Franklin from the South Portico. The President admonished them to condemn not merely the Nazi regime but all dictatorships. The President was reportedly booed by the group. Afterwards, many of the same youth picketed the White House as representatives of the American Peace Mobilization. Among them was Joseph Cadden, one of Roosevelt's overnight boarders. Later in 1940, despite Roosevelt's publication of her reasons "Why I still believe in the Youth Congress," the American Youth Congress was disbanded.
  • FORTIES
  • 1934
    Age 49
    Eleanor lobbied behind the scenes for the 1934 Costigan-Wagner Bill to make lynching a federal crime, including arranging a meeting between Franklin and NAACP president Walter Francis White. Fearing he would lose the votes of Southern congressional delegations for his legislative agenda, however, Franklin refused to publicly support the bill, which proved unable to pass the Senate. In 1942, Eleanor worked with activist Pauli Murray to persuade Franklin to appeal on behalf of sharecropper Odell Waller, convicted of killing a white farmer during a fight; though Franklin sent a letter to Virginia Governor Colgate Darden urging him to commute the sentence to life imprisonment, Waller was executed as scheduled.
    More Details Hide Details Roosevelt's support of African-American rights made her an unpopular figure among whites in the South. Rumors spread of "Eleanor Clubs" formed by servants to oppose their employers and "Eleanor Tuesdays" on which African-American men would knock down white women on the street, though no evidence has ever been found of either practice. When race riots broke out in Detroit in June 1943, critics in both the North and South wrote that Roosevelt was to blame. At the same time, she grew so popular among African-Americans, previously a reliable Republican voting bloc, that they became a consistent base of support for the Democratic Party.
    In contrast to her usual support of African-American rights, the "sundown town" Eleanor, in West Virginia, was named for her and was established in 1934 when she and Franklin visited the county and developed it as a test site for families.
    More Details Hide Details As a "sundown town", like other Franklin Roosevelt towns around the nation (such as Greenbelt, Greenhills, Greendale, Hanford, or Norris), it was for whites only. It was established as a New Deal project.
    After an initial, disastrous experiment with prefab houses, construction began again in 1934 to Roosevelt's specifications, this time with "every modern convenience", including indoor plumbing and central steam heat.
    More Details Hide Details Families occupied the first fifty homes in June, and agreed to repay the government in thirty years' time. Though Roosevelt had hoped for a racially mixed community, the miners insisted on limiting membership to white Christians. After losing a community vote, Roosevelt recommended the creation of other communities for the excluded black and Jewish miners. The experience motivated Roosevelt to become much more outspoken on the issue of racial discrimination. Roosevelt remained a vigorous fundraiser for the community for several years, as well as spending most of her own income on the project. However, the project was criticized by both the political left and right. Conservatives condemned it as socialist and a "communist plot", while Democratic members of Congress opposed government competition with private enterprise. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes also opposed the project, citing its high per-family cost. Arthurdale continued to sink as a government spending priority for the federal government until 1941, when the U.S. sold off the last of its holdings in the community at a loss.
  • 1933
    Age 48
    Roosevelt's chief project during her husband's first two terms was the establishment of a planned community in Arthurdale, West Virginia. On August 18, 1933, at Hickok's urging, Roosevelt visited the families of homeless miners in Morgantown, West Virginia, who had been blacklisted following union activities.
    More Details Hide Details Deeply affected by the visit, Roosevelt proposed a resettlement community for the miners at Arthurdale, where they could make a living by subsistence farming, handicrafts, and a local manufacturing plant. She hoped the project could become a model for "a new kind of community" in the U.S., in which workers would be better cared for. Her husband enthusiastically supported the project.
    Also in 1933 after she became First Lady, a rose was discovered and named after Eleanor, with the name Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Rosa x hybrida “Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt”).
    More Details Hide Details It is a hybrid tea rose. However, though this is true, there is no evidence to support the story that Eleanor later quipped, "I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall". In 1937 she began writing her autobiography, all volumes of which were compiled into The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt in 1961 (Harper & Brothers, ISBN 0-306-80476-X). The American Youth Congress was formed in 1935 to advocate for youth rights in U.S. politics, and was responsible for introducing the American Youth Bill of Rights to the U.S. Congress.
    When her parents separated in 1933 (they divorced in 1934), she along with her mother and brother Curtis moved into the White House with her grandparents. They lived there for many years until Curtis' mother remarried. When his mother divorced again in 1949, Eleanor and Curtis' mother did not want Curtis to reassume the surname Dall, so Eleanor suggested he use his middle name as his last name, which he did.
    More Details Hide Details Each year, when Eleanor held a picnic at Val-Kill for delinquent boys, Seagraves assisted her with this. She was close to Eleanor throughout her life. Seagraves concentrated her career as an educator and librarian on keeping alive many of the causes Eleanor began and supported. She is one of the few living Roosevelt family members who witnessed events firsthand during the White House years. Seagraves also is one of the few surviving people who witnessed Eleanor's diplomacy. Corinne Douglas Robinson frequently visited the White House when Franklin was President, though she was a Republican. She and Eleanor were close throughout their lives. However, her visits to Washington, D.C. caused family tensions, and when in D.C., she was often asked by both Eleanor and Alice (Alice was a leader in Washington society) to stay at her home. Her decision was usually made based on who had asked her first.
    She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, having held the post from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, and served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952.
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    In February 1933, just before Franklin assumed the presidency, Eleanor published an editorial in the Women's Daily News conflicting so sharply with his intended public spending policies that he published a rejoinder in the following issue.
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  • 1932
    Age 47
    Published in 1973, the biography also contains valuable insights into FDR's run for vice-president, his rise to the governorship of New York, and his capture of the presidency in 1932, particularly with the help of Louis McHenry Howe.
    More Details Hide Details When brother Elliott published this book in 1973, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. led the family's denunciation of him; the book was fiercely repudiated by all Elliot's siblings. Another of the siblings, James, published My Parents, a Differing View (with Bill Libby, 1976), which was written in part as a response to Elliot's book. A sequel to An Untold Story with James Brough, published in 1975 and titled A Rendezvous With Destiny, carried the Roosevelt saga to the end of World War II. Mother R.: Eleanor Roosevelt's Untold Story, also with Brough, was published in 1977. Eleanor Roosevelt, with Love: A Centenary Remembrance, came out in 1984. In the 1930s, Eleanor had a very close relationship with legendary pilot Amelia Earhart. One time, the two sneaked out from the White House and went to a party dressed up for the occasion. After flying with Earhart, Roosevelt obtained a student permit but did not further pursue her plans to learn to fly. Franklin was not in favor of his wife becoming a pilot. However, the two friends communicated frequently throughout their lives.
  • 1928
    Age 43
    By 1928, Eleanor was promoting Smith's candidacy for president and Franklin's nomination as the Democratic Party's candidate for governor of New York, succeeding Smith.
    More Details Hide Details Although Smith lost the presidential race, Franklin won handily and the Roosevelts moved into the governor's mansion in Albany, New York. During Franklin's term as governor, Eleanor traveled widely in the state to make speeches and inspect state facilities on his behalf, reporting her findings to him at the end of each trip.
  • 1927
    Age 42
    Also in 1927, she established Val-Kill Industries with Nancy Cook, Marion Dickerman, and Caroline O'Day, three friends she met through her activities in the Women's Division of the New York State Democratic Party.
    More Details Hide Details It was located on the banks of a stream that flowed through the Roosevelt family estate in Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt and her business partners financed the construction of a small factory to provide supplemental income for local farming families who would make furniture, pewter, and homespun cloth using traditional craft methods. Capitalizing on the popularity of the Colonial Revival, most Val-Kill products were modeled on eighteenth-century forms. Roosevelt promoted Val-Kill through interviews and public appearances. Val-Kill Industries never became the subsistence program that Roosevelt and her friends imagined, but it did pave the way for larger New Deal initiatives during Franklin's presidential administration. Nancy's failing health and pressures from the Great Depression compelled the women to dissolve the partnership in 1938, at which time Roosevelt converted the shop buildings into a cottage at Val-Kill, that eventually became her permanent residence after Franklin died in 1945. Otto Berge acquired the contents of the factory and the use of the Val-Kill name to continue making colonial-style furniture until he retired in 1975. In 1977, Roosevelt's cottage at Val-Kill and its surrounding property of 181 acres (.73 km2), was formally designated by an act of Congress as the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, "to commemorate for the education, inspiration, and benefit of present and future generations the life and work of an outstanding woman in American history."
    In 1927, she joined friends Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook in buying the Todhunter School for Girls, a finishing school which also offered college preparatory courses, in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details At the school, Roosevelt taught upper-level courses in American literature and history, emphasizing independent thought, current events, and social engagement. She continued to teach three days a week while FDR served as governor, but was forced to leave teaching after his election as president.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1924
    Age 39
    In 1924, she campaigned for Democrat Alfred E. Smith in his successful re-election bid as governor of New York State against the Republican nominee and her first cousin Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Franklin had spoken out on Theodore's "wretched record" as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during the oil scandals, and in return, Theodore said of him, "He's a maverick!
    More Details Hide Details He does not wear the brand of our family," which infuriated Eleanor. She dogged Theodore on the New York State campaign trail in a car fitted with a papier-mâché bonnet shaped like a giant teapot that was made to emit simulated steam (to remind voters of Theodore's supposed, but later disproved, connections to the Teapot Dome Scandal), and countered his speeches with those of her own, calling him immature. She would later decry these methods, admitting that they were below her dignity but saying that they had been contrived by Democratic Party "dirty tricksters." Theodore was defeated by 105,000 votes, and he never forgave Eleanor.
  • 1921
    Age 36
    Following the onset of Franklin's polio in 1921, Eleanor began serving as a stand-in for her incapacitated husband, making public appearances on his behalf, often carefully coached by Louis Howe.
    More Details Hide Details She also started working with the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL), raising funds in support of the union's goals: a 48-hour work week, minimum wage, and the abolition of child labor. Throughout the 1920s, Eleanor became increasingly influential as a leader in the New York State Democratic Party while Franklin used her contacts among Democratic women to strengthen his standing with them, winning their committed support for the future.
  • 1920
    Age 35
    In the 1920 presidential election, Franklin was nominated as the Democratic vice presidential candidate with presidential candidate James M. Cox.
    More Details Hide Details Eleanor joined Franklin in touring the country, making her first campaign appearances. Cox and Roosevelt were defeated by Republican Warren G. Harding, who won with sixteen million votes to nine million.
  • 1918
    Age 33
    In September 1918, while unpacking a suitcase of Franklin's, Eleanor discovered a bundle of love letters to him from her social secretary, Lucy Mercer.
    More Details Hide Details He had been contemplating leaving Eleanor for Lucy. However, following pressure from Franklin's political advisor, Louis Howe, and from his mother Sara, who threatened to disinherit her son if he divorced, Franklin remained married to Eleanor. However, the union from that point on was more of a political partnership. Disillusioned, Eleanor again became active in public life, and focused increasingly on her social work rather than her role as a wife, as she had for the previous decade. In August 1921, the family was vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, when Franklin was stricken with polio or something like it, which permanently paralyzed his legs. When the extent of his disability became clear, Eleanor fought a protracted battle with her mother-in-law over his future, persuading him to stay in politics despite Sara's urgings that he retire and become a country gentleman. This proved a turning point in Eleanor and Sara's long-running struggle, and as Eleanor's public role grew, she increasingly broke from Sara's control. Tensions between Sara and Eleanor over her new political friends rose to the point that the family constructed a cottage at Val-Kill, which Eleanor and her guests lived in when Franklin and the children were away from Hyde Park. Eleanor herself named the place Val-Kill, loosely translated as waterfall-stream from the Dutch language common to the original European settlers of the area. Franklin encouraged Eleanor to develop this property as a place that she could develop some of her ideas for work with winter jobs for rural workers and women.
    The Roosevelts' marriage was complicated from the beginning by Franklin's controlling mother, Sara, and after discovering an affair of her husband's with Lucy Mercer in 1918, Roosevelt resolved to seek fulfillment in a public life of her own.
    More Details Hide Details She persuaded Franklin to stay in politics after he was stricken with debilitating polio in 1921, which cost him the use of his legs, and Roosevelt began giving speeches and appearing at campaign events in his place. Following Franklin's election as Governor of New York in 1928, and throughout the remainder of Franklin's public career in government, Roosevelt regularly made public appearances on his behalf, and as First Lady while her husband served as President, she significantly reshaped and redefined the role of that office during her own tenure and beyond, for future First Ladies. Though widely respected in her later years, Roosevelt was a controversial First Lady at the time for her outspokenness, particularly her stance on racial issues. She was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column, write a monthly magazine column, host a weekly radio show, and speak at a national party convention. On a few occasions, she publicly disagreed with her husband's policies. She launched an experimental community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, for the families of unemployed miners, later widely regarded as a failure. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1905
    Age 20
    Roosevelt and Souvestre maintained a correspondence until March 1905, when Souvestre died, and after this Eleanor placed Souvestre's portrait on her desk and brought her letters with her.
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    Returning to the U.S., she married her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1905.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1904
    Age 19
    Sara took her son on a Caribbean cruise in 1904, hoping that a separation would squelch the romance, but Franklin remained determined. The wedding date was set to accommodate President Theodore Roosevelt, who agreed to give the bride away. Eleanor married Franklin on March 17, 1905 (St. Patrick's Day), in a wedding officiated by Endicott Peabody, the groom's headmaster at Groton School.
    More Details Hide Details Eleanor's first cousin Corinne Douglas Robinson was a bridesmaid to Eleanor. The wedding date itself was selected with Theodore Roosevelt, the sitting president, in mind, since he was already scheduled to be in New York for the St. Patrick's Day parade. Theodore Roosevelt, who signed the marriage certificate as a witness, gave his niece Eleanor away since her father had died years before. He garnered almost all the attention from the press, and his attendance at the ceremony was front-page news, including in the New York Times. When asked for his thoughts on the Roosevelt-Roosevelt union, Theodore Roosevelt said, "It is a good thing to keep the name in the family." The couple spent a preliminary honeymoon of one week at Hyde Park, then set up housekeeping in an apartment in New York. That summer they went on their formal honeymoon, a three-month tour of Europe.
  • 1902
    Age 17
    In the summer of 1902, Eleanor encountered her father's fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945), on a train to Tivoli, New York. The two began a secret correspondence and romance, and became engaged on November 22, 1903.
    More Details Hide Details Franklin's mother, Sara Ann Delano, opposed the union, and made him promise that the engagement would not be officially announced for a year. "I know what pain I must have caused you," Franklin wrote his mother of his decision. But, he added, "I know my own mind, and known it for a long time, and know that I could never think otherwise."
    In 1902 – at age 17 – Roosevelt returned to the United States, ending her formal education, and was presented at a debutante ball at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel on December 14.
    More Details Hide Details She was later given her own "coming out party". She said of her debut in a public discussion once (as later recounted in her New York Times obituary), "It was simply awful. It was a beautiful party, of course, but I was so unhappy, because a girl who comes out is so utterly miserable if she does not know all the young people. Of course I had been so long abroad that I had lost touch with all the girls I used to know in New York. I was miserable through all that." Roosevelt was active with the New York Junior League shortly after its founding, teaching dancing and calisthenics in the East Side slums. The organization had been brought to Roosevelt's attention by her friend, organization founder Mary Harriman, and a male relative who criticized the group for "drawing young women into public activity".
    Roosevelt wished to continue at Allenswood, but in 1902 was summoned home by her grandmother to make her social debut.
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  • 1899
    Age 14
    Roosevelt was tutored privately and, at the age of 15, with the encouragement of her aunt Anna "Bamie" Roosevelt, the family sent her to Allenswood Academy, a private finishing school in Wimbledon, outside London, England, from 1899 to 1902.
    More Details Hide Details The headmistress, Marie Souvestre, was a noted feminist educator who sought to cultivate independent thinking in young women. Souvestre took a special interest in Roosevelt, who learned to speak French fluently and gained self-confidence.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1884
    Born
    Born on October 11, 1884.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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