Birth date of Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born to a prominent New York City family, but, orphaned at age 10, spent much of her adolescence at a distinguished English boarding school. There, Eleanor learned the independence, compassion, and confidence that made her a great woman. She returned to America when she was 17 to make her debut, where she met Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a very distant cousin. The two fell in love and married, as Eleanor’s uncle, President Theodore Roosevelt gave her away. Franklin and Eleanor, as members of a political dynasty, entered politics straight away. Entering the state senate and later becoming Governor of New York, Franklin was constantly supported by his wife. After he was diagnosed with polio, her espousal to him only became greater. FDR won the White House in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression, and rode out the longest tenure of any US President – all the way through World War II. Throughout her terms as First Lady, Eleanor was a devoted wife, charming entertainer, and outspoken advocate for human rights (both domestic and abroad). After FDR passed in 1945, Eleanor continued to be a public servant, acting as an American delegate to the United Nations and as the first chairperson of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (appointed by John F. Kennedy). She died in 1962.
What do you think are some of the most important duties of a First Lady? Why do you think Eleanor continued to work after FDR’s death?