Uploaded by WelshHanny on May 15, 2002
Although Eleanor Roosevelt served as first lady from 1932 to 1945, her influence lasted much longer than expected. Eleanor became her husband’s ears and eyes during her husband’s presidency and aided human rights during her entire life. She did what no other First Lady, or woman had dared to do before; she challenged society’s wrong doings. Many respected her; President Truman had called her “the First Lady of the World (Freedman, 168).” Eleanor Roosevelt was an amazing first lady who helped her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, run the country.
Eleanor was born on October 11th 1884 in New York City to Anna and Elliott Roosevelt. Six years later, Elliott was confined to a mental asylum and Anna died of diphtheria. Eleanor’s grandmother followed her mother’s wishes, and enrolled Eleanor at Allenswood School in England when she was 15 and was there until 1902 (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eleanor/). During this time, President McKinley was assassinated and her Uncle, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt became president. When Eleanor finished school, she went back to New York and enmeshed herself into upper class society at the Waldorf- Astoria Hotel in New York City. When she was 19 she became engaged to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her fifth cousin once removed. In 1903, Eleanor enrolled in the Junior League of New York where she taught calisthenics and dancing to immigrants (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eleanor/). She also became involved in social warfare by joining the Consumers’ League, which investigated working conditions in the garment district. Eleanor and Franklin were married on March 17th 1905, with President Teddy Roosevelt giving the bride away (http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/firstladies/ar32.html).
From 1906 to 1916, Eleanor had 6 children, Anna, James, Franklin Jr., who dies in infancy of influenza, Elliott, another Franklin Jr. and John. In 1913 her husband became Assistant Secretary of the Navy, which enabled Eleanor to spend a great deal of time in Washington getting familiar with the ways of life. With the onset of World War I, Eleanor volunteered for the D.C. Red Cross, the Navy Department, and Navy League to help servicemen. In 1919, she volunteered at St. Elizabeth Hospital to visit World War I veterans, she also volunteered at the International Congress of Working Women.
In 1920 Eleanor traveled with her husband on his campaign for the vice presidency and joined the League of Women Voters. Later, Congress passes the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote. When, in 1921 Franklin Roosevelt...