E is for Eleanor Roosevelt

After FDR died in 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt was appointed by President Truman to be a delegate to the group that would create the United Nations.

EleanorRooseveltI watched the excellent The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, Ken Burns’s seven-part series on PBS this past fall and became even more impressed with Eleanor Roosevelt than I had been before. She was the niece of Theodore Roosevelt, the daughter of his brother Elliot.

She married her fifth cousin Franklin Roosevelt on St. Patrick’s Day 1905 in New York City, “given away” by her uncle Teddy, who was by then President.

In spite of Franklin’s marital betrayal, which wounded Eleanor greatly, they were a dynamic political couple. She could sometimes say or do things that he, a more pragmatic state legislator, governor and eventually President, could not.

In the summer of 2013, my family visited Val-Kill, her place on the Hudson River not far from the home in Hyde Park that was her mother-in-law’s and where she seldom felt comfortable and welcomed. There is a kiosk there where one could read her My Day columns, which she wrote from 1936 to 1962, the year that she passed away.

After FDR died in 1945, she was appointed by President Truman to be a delegate to the group that would create the United Nations. She became a primary author of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948.

Check out these Eleanor-centered clips from Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts:
ER Is Born & Elliot Dies
ER and the Red Cross
Her First Step into Politics
ER vs. Sara Delano Roosevelt
ER on Troubled World
ER’s South Pacific Visit
ER Leaves White House

ABC Wednesday – Round 16

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

20 thoughts on “E is for Eleanor Roosevelt”

  1. We watched the PBS series and really enjoyed it. I learned so many things about Eleanor I did not know.

  2. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the saints in our home, like Mother Jones and Sojourner Truth and Billie Holiday! My mother saw her as the epitome of the long-suffering wife, an ambassador for the ages, and a perfect example of women who are given the chance to achieve their full potential. “Aim high, Amer,” she’d say. “Aim Eleanor high.” Thank you for this, Rog. Wish Mama could read it. Lex and I hung on for the whole series! Amy

  3. An amazing woman Roger, stoic and compassionate.
    I’d love to see the series, hopefully they’ll be aired
    in the UK in the not too distant future.
    I really enjoyed reading this and also the vid clips,
    Thank you,

    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  4. She has always been my favourite First Lady, partly because she was so much more than that. I also remember watching the 1976 Series “Eleanor and Franklin (starring Edward Herrmann and Jane Alexander), and its sequel the following year. The PBS series hasn’t aired in New Zealand, and probably won’t, so I’ll have to look into other ways of seeing it.

  5. I was fascinated by the series, especially because my knowledge of American politics and history is so cursory. I was genuinely impressed by the ways and works of this woman. I was amazed at how much her attitudes and values reflected those which I had been raised with, in England.

    Thank you for caring enough to comment re Scruffy. Sad, yes, but my family members’ needs are so much more concerning.

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