The First Lady often travelled alone, refusing to be trailed by Secret Service agents. The agency acquiesced only after she had demonstrated ability for self-protection with a gun they insisted she carry. She agreed to this, but never felt the need to use it. While she made many of her day trips to New York City from Washington and cities in between by either automobile or train, she just as frequently hopped on a plane to make the short flight.
Almost exclusively, however, she used air flight to make her far-flung trips across the entire nation, making many coast-to-coast trips by plane. Later, in , the First Lady provided a statement of endorsement of air travel, and posed for a photograph that appeared in national magazines; paid for appearing in the print advertisement, she donated her earnings to charity.
Flying also led her to create a strong friendship with the legendary female aviator Amelia Earhart. After a famous dinner at the White House, Earhart took the First Lady for a flight to Baltimore and coaxed her into briefly taking over control of the vehicle. When Mrs. Roosevelt later flew to address the National Democratic Convention, she wrote of her excitement at being able to take longer control of plane.
Among a network of women who had mostly been professional educators, journalists, attorneys, and union leaders in the reform movement during her previous years in New York or who had worked in the Democratic Party at the national or New York state level, Eleanor Roosevelt was the central figure. The First Lady was successful in changing both the Civil Works Administration and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration to expand to include divisions that dealt specifically with the problems faced by unemployed women.
Further, she suggested the individuals who would be appointed to lead the bureaus. Similarly, when she learned that the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided forestry work to young people, was available only to men, she successfully pressed for the same program for young women. It was not just as recipients of federal government programs or as employees of the federal government that Eleanor Roosevelt carried her advocacy. She consistently addressed gender inequity in American life wherever she saw it.
She believed women should be given universal military training and even that housewives should be allowed to work only regular hours and be salaried for it. Far more than her husband, she believed the U. The larger white population at that time as nothing short of radical viewed this, yet it never persuaded her to restrain her words and deeds. Often it was a singular, unambiguous action intended as a symbol that prompted a public facing of the issue.
Invited to the African-American Howard University, for example, she wanted herself photographed as two uniformed male honor guards escorted her in. The picture was widely printed, often used to prompt angry racist attacks on her. No one single act as First Lady, however, more dramatically illustrated her belief than her much publicized February 26, resignation from the Daughters of the American Revolution when that organization adhered to local racial restrictions and refused to rent its Constitution Hall for a concert by opera singer Marian Anderson.
While she was not responsible for, nor attended the ensuing public concert by Anderson on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial two months later, she strongly supported it. Privately, the First Lady reflected that when she had come to the point of no longer thinking about greeting her friend Mrs.
Bethune with a peck on the cheek, as she did with her white friends, she had come to outgrow her own early prejudices. She also sought support for the bill elsewhere, such as the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching. The First Lady also became the first white resident of Washington, D. In , she attended and addressed the annual conventions of both organizations. She worked in tandem with these organizations and also on individual efforts. Within the New Deal programs of the federal government, she made efforts to forge more racial equity. She pushed for those administering the Agricultural Adjustment Act to acknowledge how white landowners regularly discriminated against African-Americans and similarly pressured the Resettlement Administration to do so on behalf of black sharecroppers.
She sought to make certain that African-Americans were paid the same wage within the ranks of administrative workers in the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. By seeking to ensure that African-Americans were beneficiaries of New Deal programs, and cultivating prominent political figures within the community, Eleanor Roosevelt — and through her, FDR, were key factors in the historic shift of African-American support from the Republican Party and their legacy from Lincoln to the Democratic Party.
The NYA gave out grants to college students who agreed to work part-time, thus giving them some income without having to drop out of school; it also provided job training to those not in school. In her book This I Remember , Eleanor Roosevelt acknowledged her role in helping to create the National Youth Administration, which FDR established on June 26, "One of the ideas I agreed to present to Franklin was that of setting up a national youth administration It was one of the occasions on which I was very proud that the right thing was done regardless of political consequences.
The division provided unemployed young people with apprenticeships, vocational training and work projects. She toured several dozen of the sites around the nation, and behind the scenes frequently evaluated the success and failures of the program with its officials, attended its regional conferences with state directors and served as a direct liaison to the President. Eleanor Roosevelt was inspired by the call to social justice and world peace advocated by the American Student Union, which was composed of college student activists.
When they sought her support for the American Youth Act, to mandate federal aid to all American young people who lived in need, she refused, feeling it was expensive and unrealistic. Nonetheless, she took a front-row seat during House Un-American Activities Committee hearings when they grilled ASU leader Joseph Lash she had befriended, and later defended their initial good intentions. Under the direction of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, a tape-recording was made of the First Lady and the student leader Lash visiting in a hotel room, unknown to them; some suggested it indicated a physical relationship but there is no evidence of this.
Once FDR discovered this, he was enraged and ordered all transcripts and tapes destroyed. While Hoover seemingly followed the order, he continued to use espionage to track the activities of the First Lady through her White House tenure and beyond, believing that she was aligned, unwittingly or not, with subversive organizations that threatened the stability of the U. She had been an avid supporter of the initial effort to bring these professions under eligibility of the Works Progress Administration and successfully lobbied the President to this end; he signed the legislation on June 25, She publicly opposed a Congressional funding decrease to the programs, and the closing of the theater program.
Administered by the Department of Interior, it helped resettle communities where a workforce in a predominant occupation had been devastated by the economic turndown. The urge to provide a viable life and relief to the coal-mining families there led to her unofficially directing what would become the first of the New Deal resettlement projects, located some thirty miles away, in Arthurdale.
Witnessing the efforts of the private charity group, the American Friends Service Committee to provide self-help programs there, she discussed the effort with the President and he had it established as a federal project. Feeling a sense of personal responsibility to help the impoverished coal-mining families as soon as possible, the First Lady used her clout to have Arthurdale functioning as quickly as possible.
Within months some fifty prefabricated houses were bought and delivered to the site — only to find they did not fit the foundations. At great expense, an architect was hired to adapt the houses. Co-operative farming, crafts production, and other small industry were established, though proved less lucrative than hoped. While able to lure General Electric to establish a vacuum cleaner assembly plant there, it did not succeed. More successfully she sought private donations from wealthy Americans to establish a hospital and clinic, including the young tobacco heiress Doris Duke after she made a visit with the First Lady to Arthurdale, as seen in this newsreel:.
Critics in Congress managed to defeat a Public Works Administration allocation for a post office equipment factory. She was unable to convince administrators to include African-Americans in the new community. Although it provided quality housing, it was not until defense industry was established there, during the war-preparedness era that the unemployment problems become alleviated.
She nevertheless remained committed to the community, particularly the school system that she helped establish through private donations. She further visited other federal homesteads, illustrating her belief in their essential soundness as a method of helping people helping themselves.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong supporter of labor unions, though she refused to be seen as a foe of industry.
Instead, she sought to encourage mediation over striking. As a working newspaper columnist, Eleanor Roosevelt joined the American Newspaper Guild, the first known First Lady to join a labor union.
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She would be elected, on a write-in vote, as a delegate to the local Industrial Union Council but with the charge that communist interests dominated the organization, she declined and privately urged the guild to disassociate with the council. Initially, she felt that the task of shaking hands and hosting tea parties as her Social Secretary Edith Helm had urged her to do.
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In short order, however, she came to respect the value which the public placed on her as a living symbol, along with the often lifetime impression of being received in the White House. Despite her omnipresence in national life as an overtly political figure, she also hosted the annual Easter Egg Roll, dressed formally to welcome guests at state dinners and receptions, toured visitors through the historic rooms of the old mansion, posed for charitable fundraising campaigns, christened ships and planes, opened bazaars and attended luncheons.
She also often greeted guests herself at the White House north portico entrance door, whether they were there for a social call or business meeting. As First Lady, she also chose forms of entertainment at receptions, dinners and other social events which reflected more fully the spectrum of the diverse American popular culture - such as her famously serving hot dogs to the King and Queen of England, and inviting modern dance choreographer Martha Graham to have her troupe perform in the White House. As a housekeeper, she once recalled having dusty draperies pointed out to her, but felt that there were more pressing matters competing for her time than refurbishing the house.
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She did take particular pride in her renovation of one room in the mansion, a third floor sitting room which she outfitted with furniture made by the Val-Kill factory which she had founded and managed. Her interest in the quality of food served in the house was also limited, her husband famously complaining about the blandness of meals served to even him. While she may be among the few First Ladies who regularly cooked - she ritualistically liked to make a large chafing dish of scrambled eggs on Sundays, it was as a sociable venue for her meetings and conferences on serious matters.
As for her personal appearance, she was as comfortable appearing in public wearing a hairnet and riding pants as she was in new and expensive gowns on state occasions. While she sometimes ordered a dress she liked to be made for her in several different colors to spare her what she considered a waste of valuable time trying on clothing, she was also voted among the best-dressed women at different points during her White House tenure and took pride in this.
She also accepted clothes at reduced rates in trade for permitting the stores to advertise her patronage by printing pictures of her in their items. While she might be said to have exemplified her own unique style with signature items such as her veiled and flowered hats and fur-collar neckpieces, she was following popular looks of her era, rather than seeking to popularize her own fashions for others.
Although Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt maintained increasingly separate orbits of activities and friendships as the Roosevelt Administration would proceed, they remained mutually committed to each other as partners with a loving past, and continued to share the same general values in terms of how to best get the nation through the Great Depression and then World War II. They continually maintained a dialogue on immediate and long-term domestic and international crises. After nearly all of her fact-finding missions across the country, she reported all the important details she knew would either interest him or provide insight into the mood of an individual or demographic she had met with, often providing her own analysis of their remarks or reactions.
Despite their largely separate travels, Eleanor Roosevelt did travel both domestically and outside of the nation, with the President, a fact often overlooked. This included tour of national parks in and and a state visit to Mexico, in She especially relished the western national parks trips where she had the chance to engage with Native Americans still living in some regions without being under the observation of large crowds.
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Roosevelt would always diminish what she claimed was her influence on the President. It may have been true that she had no greater power to change his mind or sway his intentions than any others in his circle of advisers. As his wife, however, Eleanor Roosevelt could always gain access to, and make her case to him about matters she believed were of great importance. When, on many occasions, she seemed to visibly irritate him by raising serious issues and others sought to prevent her from upsetting him, she would still compose a memo or note to him that he would give attention and ultimately address.
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In fact, even when she was reporting to him on an unpleasant reaction to one of his programs or statements or disclosing the disappointing truth of reality, he never took her findings or assessments for granted. While her focus remained largely on policy-related matters, others found that the First Lady had an excellent instinct for political matters. She famously composed a detailed memo reviewing every potential issue that could arise as a threat to his successful winning a second term and his response to each matter she pointed out required twenty pages.
Their family life was also of obvious mutual interests. Despite the numerous marriages and divorces of her four adult sons and one daughter, the First Lady never permitted her disappointments in their personal lives change her strong commitment to their well-being, making arrangements to see them all, even if it meant extensive travel to do so. When the Roosevelts moved into the White House in , Anna Dall was going through a divorce and came to live there with her two young children. Both of them would later be romantically linked to the First Lady. In the case of Lorena Hickock, there is an extensive archive of personal letters between the two women that does indicate an intense emotional relationship at the least.
For periods during the first two Roosevelt terms, Hickok lived at the White House.
Initially, Eleanor Roosevelt opposed FDR running for an unprecedented third presidential term in , but recognized the need for his leadership, as the nation appeared to likely join its allies in the growing global war with Germany and its allies. To calm the growing discontent and call for party unity, the President called on his wife — who was then relaxing at their Hyde Park estate. Within hours, she managed to get a plane to fly her to Chicago, where she was driven directly to the convention hall. She then addressed the delegates, becoming the first First Lady to do so.
Anger about FDR breaking with history by seeking a third term also led to renewed attacks on the First Lady for her activism. Although President Roosevelt began to shift his focus from the economic New Deal measures to getting the United States prepared for probably entry into the growing European war as an ally with the British, Eleanor Roosevelt did not lose sight of efforts she began in the early years of the Administration.
She remained committed to the principals of the New Deal. Notably, this included her interest in living conditions of Washington, D. She had first been introduced to the alley-dwellings of the capital city where many impoverished families had made their homes when she had first come to Washington in , and trailed First Lady Ellen Wilson in her efforts to clear the city of the sub-standard housing. Eleanor Roosevelt as First Lady managed to see the effort resumed to some degree, but its completion was abruptly ended with the onset of World War II.
Her interest extended to social institutions, which then came under the jurisdiction of the federal government since the U. Among the places she visited, Mrs. Roosevelt made inspection tours of a home for indigent elderly residents and a school and child care center. She determined to have the deplorable and embarrassing conditions made public, to prompt necessary federal aid, leading her to become the first First Lady to testify before Congress on February 9, Here is some of her historical testimony:.
Increasingly, the First Lady received letters from around the world seeking her help in finding relatives dislocated by the war. She also participated in publicity for Bundles for Britain and the British War Relief Society, charity organizations that provided clothing in the war-torn nation. She conducted her work both within the federal government, as well as with private organizations like the Emergency Rescue Committee and the U. Committee for the Care of European Children.
Forced to help refugees immigrate to the U. Despite lobbying Congress, she also failed to help push through the Child Refugee Bill that intended to permit 10, more children a year over an existing quota from Germany. Although the job was unsalaried, Eleanor Roosevelt became the first First Lady to assume an official working position during her incumbency, when she went to work as the assistant director of the Office of Civilian Defense on September 22, While the director, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia directed efforts to obtain and stockpile fire department and other emergency supplies, in anticipation of potential attacks on the U.
After a period of just five months, she felt she had no choice but to resign, believing future presidential spouses who might also do so would inevitably suffer the same criticisms. Earlier that day, Japanese air forces bombed the U. During the day, within hours of the attack, the entire nation heard the news that all knew would inevitably mean U. It would not be another full day before the President addressed the American people in his declaration of war before Congress against Japan and its allies. Thus, it was Eleanor Roosevelt who became the first national figure who spoke with the people about what this would mean, in terms of the changes of normal life and particularly for women and young men of enlistment age.
Here is her original recording:. Whether as the mother of four sons who were active servicemen, putting the entire White House system on the same food and gas rationing system as the rest of the country, participating in air raids and learning how to use a gas mask, she made certain that her life in the White House mirrored that of the general population. She had a victory garden planted on the South Lawn — as many citizens did on their lawns.
She made frequent radio appeals for donations of money and blood to the Red Cross. Her multitude of volunteer wartime efforts also reflected the war work of American women, particularly in factories and other jobs that had been held by men who were now serving overseas. Throughout the war, in her remarks and writings, she continually underlined the purposes of democracy as the driving force for the sacrifices being made. In both the pre-war and war periods, she especially spoke out in strong language against the tyranny of fascism.
She opposed the U. In turn, both dictators would attack her in their broadcasts and prompted their state-controlled media to eviscerate her in cartoons and editorials. She also kept a long-view on decisions that would affect post-war life as well, opposing FDR, for example, who supported the construction of temporary housing structures that would be destroyed after their use.
The First Lady believed that structures made to last would aid in later public housing needs.
The decision was based on claims that members of the minority group were spying on behalf of Japanese interests and intended to sabotage American defense efforts. The First Lady initially voiced her vigorous protest to the plan in public, and soon enlisted the Attorney General to fight the policy with the President.
With public sentiment vigorously anti-Japanese, however, she lost her case, focusing then on their processing, making as certain as she could that they were evacuated from their homes with a semblance of dignity, and that families were kept together. Rapidly, she intervened with the War Relocation Authority to begin helping individuals to secure early releases from the camps. In April , she visited one camp in Arizona on the urging of FDR when demonstrations were held there. By November of that year, her disgust and shame at the camps seemed to have had some influence on FDR for he approved plans to begin letting individuals be given exit permits, though he maintained the general policy until after he had won his fourth presidential election, in As early as , Eleanor Roosevelt was receiving word directly from friends in Europe about the increasing mistreatment, harassment and threats to Jews by the rise to power of Adolf Hitler.
While she continued to try and facilitate refugee status for individuals, she found resistance within the State Department to support of the Wagner-Rogers Bill that would have permitted Jewish children to emigrate to the United States. As she learned directly of the systematic murder of Jews began, the First Lady was unsuccessful in convincing her husband to make their rescue a priority of war. Still, she did not refrain from seeking to raise American public attention to the crisis, joining with Jewish-American leaders in their speaking tours and attending a benefit performance intended to raise sympathy for the victims who remained in concentration camps.
Despite her lobbying in favor of women workers receiving the same pay for the same work done by their male co-workers, however, she was unable to prompt any federal law ensuring this. She continued to serve as a point of help to those women who found themselves discriminated against in either industry or the service, such as her investigating discrimination against individual African-Americans at a Women's Auxiliary Army Corps base in Des Moines, Iowa. Perhaps the one piece of legislation that she influenced which had the greatest and most lasting impact was the Fair Employment Practices Commission.
Philip Randolph demanded through her that the President that racially discriminatory policies in the defense industry and the armed forces desegregated. Otherwise, they threatened to call a massive protest march in Washington. In turn, the protest plans were canceled. Eleanor Roosevelt had felt strongly that the Armed Forces should be desegregated, but short of that, she did all she could on behalf of individual servicemen who alerted her to cases of discrimination.
She also sought ways to illustrate the equal bravery and competence of African-Americans in the service. Perhaps her single greatest contribution in this area was her simple appearance in a photograph as black pilots flew her in a plane. In no uncertain terms, however, did Eleanor Roosevelt accept the legitimacy of segregated armed services: she directly equated American racism with Nazi Aryanism. Having served as honorary vice chair of the Red Cross since her first year as First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt became increasingly involved in recommending internal improvements to the organization and publicly leading blood donation and fundraising drives during the war.
Invited by the Queen of England to review the wartime work of English women, Eleanor Roosevelt went to England from October 21 to November 17, , making her the first incumbent First Lady to a make lengthy trip outside of the U. She visited U. She also became the first First Lady to broadcast a message to foreign people, delivering a radio address on the BBC. She made her second international trip from August 17 to September 24, as a representative of the Red Cross, to the South Pacific islands, New Zealand and Australia. She went not only to also assess the unique tropical conditions the servicemen endured but also improve relations with the Australian government.
She would see about , American servicemen at bases and hospitals, including a stop at Guadalcanal. When she made her third wartime overseas trip from March , , to bases in the Caribbean basin, Central and South America, she did not wear the uniform. During this third wartime trip, the American First Lady also visited the nation of Brazil for three days.
She makes a point about American democracy in action at the end:. In large part as a result of her international trips to visit U. She carried on personal correspondence with them but also following up on their reports of problems or irregularities in the system. She also reviewed the routine letters sent by the President to families of the military who were killed in action and had them redrafted with a more humane tone.
Like presidential daughters dating back to Martha Jefferson Randolph, Anna Roosevelt Dall Boettiger [Halstead], served for a period of several months as an unofficial surrogate First Lady. Unlike other First Daughters who assumed entirely the public role of hostess at White House events like state dinners and receptions, the duties assumed by Anna Roosevelt were both wider and narrower in scope.
At the same time, FDR had grown even more dependent upon the companionship of a personal aide and assistant, following the death of his devoted secretary and friend Missy Lehand. Thirty-eight years old at the time she moved from her home in Seattle, Washington, it was the second time she made the White House her home, and under similar circumstances. In , her divorce from Dall was finalized. A year later she married Clarence J. Boettiger, a divorced journalist and publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and by him had one son John, born in Eleanor Roosevelt visited her daughter and her family on the West Coast on several occasions.
Other than several private parties for young people, and the small-scale, private entertaining of several members of European royal families who had sought refuge from the Third Reich invasion of their nations, there were no large state dinners or ceremonies at the White House. Instead, the President would have a few friends and close advisers join him for dinners. The arrangement seemed, at least initially, to suit Eleanor Roosevelt who was unburdened of this responsibility and able to continue her focus on war work.
When the First Lady returned from her trip to the Caribbean Basin, South and Central America and sought to lobby her weary husband on problems affecting members the armed services, Anna Roosevelt found herself in the position of having to keep her mother away from her father to protect him from becoming upset. This created a natural friction between the mother and daughter. After his death, Anna Roosevelt confessed this to her mother.
Eleanor Roosevelt was wounded by the betrayal and created a definitive breach between them. Although she assumed the positions of columnist, executive editor, and publisher, by the endeavor failed and Anna Roosevelt returned to New York. There she and her mother healed their breach and co-hosted a radio show for a year, until September of She then returned to her work as a magazine editor and freelance writer. That same year she divorced her husband, who committed suicide in In , Anna Roosevelt married for a third time, to doctor James A.
Halstead and pursued a degree in social work at UCLA. In her third marriage, Anna Roosevelt merged her professional experiences with the work of her husband, assuming public relations leadership at medical institutions where her husband worked, from Syracuse to Iran to Kentucky to Michigan.
Relocating to New York state, she died of throat cancer in and was buried in a Roosevelt family cemetery not far from her parents. As events proved, she was entirely incorrect. She continued to be a familiar public figure in national life, writing books, her newspaper and magazine columns, moving her commentaries from radio to television, and delivering speeches. Her activities were largely in the areas of international peace and civil rights. She would assume political positions in jobs and commissions focused on issues of domestic and international consequence, all in an appointive rather than elective position.
She completed the process of removing those items and furnishings that she did not believe had historical significance and were of personal value to her and her children. Although her husband had established the Franklin D. While honors would soon come to her as a result of her own endeavors and achievements after her White House years, Mrs.
In her immediate years of widowhood, Eleanor Roosevelt was on hand to welcome world leaders who came to pay their respects at the burial place of the late president. She also continued to keep his Scottie Fala as her own personal companion, the dog remaining an object of global interest and affection. Although she always considered Val-Kill her true home and where she especially enjoyed entertaining friends during the summer, conducting meetings with political and other famous figures, and hosting family holiday gatherings, the former First Lady largely kept her base of operations in a series of New York City residences.
Her Val-Kill home would be declared a National Historic Site in , the centennial of her birth and be opened to the public as a museum. With her proven dedication to global peace, Eleanor Roosevelt accepted the appointment by President Harry Truman to serve as the only woman among the five American delegates to the newly-created United Nations in December of She was in attendance at the historic first meeting of the institution in London, in January of Eleanor Roosevelt became an unrelenting advocate for millions of oppressed and tyrannized peoples, calling on European colonial powers to grant independence to countries they conquered, advocating the creation of Israel as a Jewish homeland which was a view that had evolved from her earlier lack of support for Zionism , and reminding the free world of the oppressions suffered by those who lived under repressive communist and socialist rule.
She stood firmly against the Soviets by pressing for the resettlement of refugees whom that nation claimed were political enemies of the state and must be repatriated. Her leadership denied the Soviet intentions denied in the General Assembly. Certainly, the most enduring legacy of her life was her drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a result of her being initially assigned to the Social, Humanitarian and Culture Committee at the U.
In her later capacity as the Human Rights Commission chair, she presented the declaration to the U. General Assembly on 10 December , which then passed it. In this recording, she reads a portion of it:. Despite losing her job when the Republicans regained the White House in , she proved her commitment to her belief in the U. In this role, she espoused the values of the U. Although she resisted various suggestions that she run for public office herself, Eleanor Roosevelt remained deeply enmeshed in national Democratic Party activities, becoming one of the most powerful figures within it — though without title or salary.
She was disappointed that he had not continued to fight for health care coverage once it was defeated and for his support of the anti-union Taft-Hartley Bill, which she opposed. Her support for and attendance at the first convention of the liberal anti-communist organization Americans For Democratic Action, founded in January , gave it the necessary prestige to establish itself as a powerful organization. Eleanor Roosevelt attended and addressed the National Democratic Conventions in and in support of Adlai Stevenson, and in in support of John F.
She defied the threats of the Ku Klux Klan to deliver a speech to activists at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, and visited civil rights worker incarcerated for participating in protests. She criticized the Eisenhower Administration as being too passive in the civil rights struggle and helped fundraise for those civil rights activists who employed nonviolent civil disobedience, most notably doing so with Martin Luther King, Jr. She also proved instrumental in helping to make permanent the wartime Fair Employment Practices Committee that outlawed racial discrimination in federal employment or that with federal contractors.
It was not just the rights of African-Americans that continued to concern her. Increasingly pro-labor, the former First Lady served as the co-chair of a fundraiser for striking union members, organized by the National Citizens Political Action Committee. Eleanor Roosevelt testified a last time before Congress in April in support of legislation that would guarantee gender pay equity. She also came to eventually support the Equal Rights Amendment, dropping her previous reservations about it. Having no illusions about the human cost of the communist system, Eleanor Roosevelt viewed Soviet and Eastern European leaders and their intentions with a jaundiced eye, but believed strongly that continuing dialogue with them was vital.
She was a leading and, at times, lone voice of concern about civil liberties as Senator Joseph McCarthy conducted his hearings seeking out those who might have communist sympathies within the government. Both in her capacity as a UN representative and with her status as a former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt spent much of the twenty-two years between leaving the White House and her death in global travel.
In the immediate postwar years, she toured refugee camps of displaced Jews in the former Nazi Germany and of Palestinians in Jordan who had been displaced by the creation of Israel. Some later discerned that she would have vigorously opposed the increased American military presence in Vietnam under Democratic presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, because she did not believe that France should seek to reclaim its colonial hold on the three Indochinese nations.
In all of these nations, she met not only with leaders, even if it proved to be contentious, but also with the everyday people. She found was particularly beloved in India and Pakistan because of her strong stand in favor of racial equality in the United States. In , she visited the site of Hiroshima, where the Americans had dropped the atomic bomb. As the widow of the Allied wartime leader, she felt it particularly important to make trips to the former Axis nations of Japan and Germany and to personally visit young schoolchildren in both an effort of healing of the recent past and encourage the democracy of their future.
Despite her reluctance to support him as the Democratic nominee for the presidency in , she took an avid interest in several initiatives of his Administration. She returned to interview him on two occasions for her regular radio broadcast. Here is a recording of her conversation with President Kennedy on the role and status of women in American society:.
From what is known about the varying degrees of contact that First Ladies have had with one another, it appears that Eleanor Roosevelt. Shortly before Mrs. They had met on several occasions at Democratic Party events in the late s, when Senator Kennedy was gearing up for his presidential run. At the time, however, Mrs. Kennedy felt resentment towards political attacks Mrs.
Roosevelt had made on her husband. Of all her predecessors, Eleanor Roosevelt had been closest to, and knew personally her aunt Edith Roosevelt. While the elderly woman did not visit her niece in the White House, they did maintain a strong correspondence with each other. Among her earliest predecessors, Eleanor Roosevelt met Frances Cleveland on several occasions during the FDR presidency, and the latter, a loyal Democratic, was an outspoken supporter of both him and his wife.
It was during her time in Europe, following the end of World War I and the subsequent trans-Atlantic voyage back to the U. During the s, while Mrs. In later years, the two often saw one another and would inevitably pose together, at Democratic Party events in Washington. Eleanor Roosevelt had brief encounters with two of her three Republican predecessors. In and , she worked with Florence Harding, then the spouse of a U. Senator, at the soldier canteen established in Union Station. They would have. Lou Hoover and Eleanor Roosevelt had formed a friendly relationship as neighbors while both of their husbands were serving in the Wilson Administration, and even picnicked together on one occasions.
With the presidential race between their husbands, however, came resentments that never entirely healed. During the FDR presidency, however, the women were on at least friendly terms at a Girl Scouts leadership event in Boston where they both spoke. Almost always their contact was during Democratic Party events or those involving former Presidents and former First Ladies. While working at a wartime canteen in Washington, Mrs. Eisenhower served a plate of lunch to the visiting First Lady who did not know the identity of her waitress.
Although they did not become First Ladies until after her death, several of her successors met or saw Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson was a congressional spouse during the FDR presidency and was not only a White House dinner guest but made home movies of Eleanor Roosevelt and they also met at congressional spouse gatherings that the First Lady attended. Betty Ford was in the presence of Eleanor Roosevelt when they both attended the Kennedy Inauguration and later spoke of how, along with her mother, Mrs.
Roosevelt served as a role model for her as a young woman. Nancy Reagan witnessed Eleanor Roosevelt deliver her speech to the Democratic Convention, held in Chicago where she then lived, seated with her mother and the mayor. As a young mother in the s, Barbara Bush became a friend to the granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt and when the former First Lady came to visit the latter in Texas, she met the former. Although she remained a widow, Eleanor Roosevelt did develop close emotional relationships that sustained and provided a depth of happiness in her personal life.
The two men to whom she drew especially close were both married — Joseph P. Lash and her doctor, David Gurewitsch, and she also grew close to their wives, Trude and Edna, respectively. She often travelled with the couples. Her closeness to her doctor proved especially helpful after she was diagnosed and lived with aplastic anemia and tuberculosis for the last two years of her life. In this fight, the small number of British planes were vastly outnumbered by German ones, and aerial combat was often deadly for the British pilots.
Dahl survived the dangerous flights and took down some of the enemy before it was necessary to retreat. Yet after this, he only flew for a few more weeks. Suffering from increasingly painful headaches and occasional blackouts linked to his earlier injuries, he was deemed unfit to fly. But the country still had many isolationists who were unhappy about joining the fight — some even felt President Franklin D. Roosevelt had conspired to let Pearl Harbor happen in order to push America toward war. Dahl could be charming, which won him invitations to dinners and cocktail parties. And he was helped along in society by the friendship of Charles Marsh, a newspaper owner and oil magnate whose other mentees included Lyndon Johnson.
Eventually, Dahl became involved in the covert spy operation British Security Coordination. BSC's agents were keeping an eye on U. His work as a spy still called for Dahl to attend a lot of dinners and cocktail parties — but now he was reporting the tidbits and gossip he heard to BSC. Among Dahl's other notable friends and acquaintances were Vice President Henry Wallace the two regularly played tennis and then-Senator Harry Truman who Dahl joined for poker games.
Dahl also had numerous affairs, including with Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce. The congresswoman wasn't an avid supporter of British interests; Dahl may have been directed to encourage her to change these views. Dahl's friend Marsh inadvertently aided the younger man's espionage when he showed Dahl some papers from Wallace regarding America's plans for the aviation industry once the war was over.
Dahl was so intrigued by what he'd read that he arranged for someone to come and take the papers to be copied. While this was happening he lingered by the lavatory to establish an alibi should anyone wonder why it had taken him so long to read the document. Dahl was valued enough that even when his higher-ups at the embassy didn't want him around any longer — he was a very undiplomatic diplomat who didn't care for office life — BSC arranged for his return to the States.
And he had enough pull that he was able to help Ernest Hemingway travel to London, where Dahl served as Hemingway's minder, prior to D-Day. The mischevious gremlin was a concept popularized by British author Roald Dahl in his children's book which was adapted for a film by Walt Disney. A piece about his crash in Libya impressed writer C. Forester so much that he helped Dahl get it published in the Saturday Evening Post. Another Dahl project was about gremlins. These creatures had a long history within the RAF, often receiving the blame for mechanical failures.