Category Archives: Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt 1.30.13 Thought of the Day

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”


“The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.”


“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth”


“Today is a day that will live in infamy.”


— Franklin D. Roosevelt


President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced strong o...


Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on this day in Hyde Park, New York, USA in 1882. It is the 131st anniversary of his birth.


FDR was born into wealth and luxury. The only child of James Roosevelt and Sara Anne Delano Roosevelt, Franklin was fifth cousins with Teddy Roosevelt.


An athletic child, Franklin enjoyed horseback riding, shooting, rowing, tennis, polo, golf and sailing.  He went to an Episcopal boarding school, the Groton School for boys with other privileged, connected students.  At Groton, under the influence of headmaster Endicott Peabody,  he learned the values of serving his fellow-man, of public service and helping the less fortunate. From Groton he went on to Harvard College where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Crimson.


Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt wi...


He also began to date his fifth cousin Eleanor Roosevelt while he was at Harvard. They married “On St. Patrick’s Day, 1905” [] The couple had six children together, Anna Eleanore, James, Franklin Delano, Jr., (who died before he was a year old) Elliot, a second Franklin Delano, Jr. and John  Aspinwall.


He attended Columbia Law School but dropped out when he passed the bar. He worked for the law firm Carter Ledyard & Milburn  focusing in Corporate Law. In 1910 he ran for New York State Senate and won by a landslide. In 1913 he was appointed Assistant US Secretary of the Navy. And by 1920 had risen in the ranks of the Democratic party to such a degree that he was their nominee for Vice President.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt, three-quarter lengt...

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing left as Asst. Sect. of the Navy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Roosevelt was struck by Polio in the summer of 1921.


At first, he refused to accept that he was permanently paralyzed. He tried numerous therapies and even bought the Warm Springs resort in Georgia seeking a cure. Despite his efforts, he never regained the use of his legs. He later established a foundation at Warm Springs to help others, and instituted the March of Dimes program that eventually funded an effective polio vaccine. [Biography]


It took almost a decade but determination and Eleanor’s support he managed to take the stage at the 1924 Democratic National Convention “on crutches to nominate Alfred E. Smith” []  Smith in turn convinced Roosevelt to run for NY Governor  in 1928.


English: Color photo of U.S. President Frankli...

English: Color photo of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Man of The Year” on the cover of TIME Magazine, January 2, 1933 edition:,9263,7601330102,00.html The file is a cropped, digitally-retouched version of the original large-resolution file at the Google Images/LIFE Magazine archives (see “Original source” link). According to the information posted here, the cover of this edition of the magazine is of public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In 1932, as the country struggled in the throes of the Great Depression, Roosevelt was elected  to the first of his four terms as President of the United States.


In his first 100 days, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed sweeping economic reform, calling it the “New Deal.” He ordered the temporary closure on all banks to halt the run on deposits. He formed a “Brain Trust” of economic advisors who designed the alphabet agencies such as the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) to support farm prices, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to employ young men, and the NRA (National Recovery Administration), which regulated wages and prices. Other agencies insured bank deposits, regulated the stock market, subsidized mortgages, and provided relief to the unemployed. [Biography]


By mid-decade the country was turning the corner on the depression, Roosevelt’s bold policies had worked. But some wondered if he had gone too far, especially his decision to take the nation off the gold standard.


Roosevelt responded with a new program of reform: Social Security, heavier taxes on the wealthy, new controls over banks and public utilities, and an enormous work relief program for the unemployed. []


As the winds of war blew through Europe and the Pacific he pledged a “good neighbor” policy of mutual action against aggressors. “He also sought through neutrality legislation to keep the United States out of the war in Europe, yet at the same time to strengthen nations threatened or attacked.” [Ibid] After the German’s invaded France and the threat to England became omnipresent Roosevelt “send Great Britain all possible aid short of actual military involvement.” [Ibid]


But after December 7, 1941 there was no hedging America’s involvement in the War.


When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Roosevelt directed organization of the Nation’s manpower and resources for global war. [Ibid]


By 1944 as World War II was beginning wind down, Roosevelt’s health was starting to deteriorate. “hospital tests indicated he had atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.” [Biography] Regardless of the test results Roosevelt ran for a fourth term. this time he choose Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman as his running mate.


He attended the Yalta Conference to discuss post-war Europe with Churchill and Joseph Stalin.


He then returned to the United States and the sanctuary of Warm Springs, Georgia. On the afternoon of April 12, 1945, Roosevelt suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died. [Ibid]


Franklin Delano Roosevelt's funeral procession...

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s funeral procession with horse-drawn casket, Pennsylvania Ave. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Thought of the Day 10.11.12 Eleanor Roosevelt

  [Eleanor Roosevelt is such a hero of mine, I’m thrilled to write this bio.]

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

“No one can make you fell inferior without your consent.”

“Remember always: That you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”

“You must do the thing you think you can not do.”

–Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in ...

Eleanor Roosevelt at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City – NARA – 195324 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on this day in New York City, New York, USA in 1884. Today is the 128th anniversary of her birth.

She was the niece of one US president and the wife of another. She grew up with immense wealth and great personal sorrow. She was a quiet, shy child, so serious that she was nicknamed “Granny”. Her mother died when she was eight of diphtheria. Just months later both her brothers contracted Scarlet fever, one, Elliot, died. Her father died two years later.  Orphaned she went to live with her grandmother Mary Ludlow Hall. She was privately tutored until 15. Then she was sent to a finishing school near London, England called Allenswood. It was a progressive school where Eleanor was said to be studious but popular. At Allenswood she learned self-confidence.

“During her time at Allenswood, Roosevelt came out of her shell of childhood loneliness and isolation. She thrived both academically and emotionally. ” [New World Encyclopedia]

Eleanor in 1898 at school in England. [Image courtesy: New World Encyclopedia.]

Eleanor (she always preferred to be called by her middle name) was presented to society on December 14, 1902 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. As a young woman she volunteered with the New York Junior League and worked in the city’s slums. She taught dancing and calisthenics to children and was a member of the Consumers League (a group that investigated sweatshop conditions in the city.) It was a connection with the poor that she would continue through her life.

She met Franklin D. Roosevelt later that year. He was her fifth cousin, they got engaged in 1904 and married on St. Patrick’s Day of 1905. President Theodore Roosevelt gave away his niece.

When Franklin entered politics Eleanor became his partner in “it” as well. Her role shifted, “I simply knew that what we had to do we did, and that my job was to make it easy.”  During World War I she “threw herself into wartime relief.” She worked for the Red Cross and helped with Navy Relief. Her work was outside the scope of what she had done to promote her husband’s career, and, she later noted “I … gained certain assurance as to my ability to run things, and the knowledge that there is joy in accomplishing good.”  [The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project]

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt wi...

She had an infamously difficult relationship with her mother-in-law Sara Delano Roosevelt. Franklin was very attached to his mother and the lived in one of her houses. The tide turned when Franklin contracted Polio, Eleanor realized that she had to “stand on her own two feet in regards to her husband’s life, her own life and the rearing of her children. ” [Franklin d. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum]

Together she and Franklin had six children: Anna Eleanor, Jr. ; James (after Franklin’s father James); Franklin Delano, Jr (who died as an infant); Elliott (after Eleanor’s father); Franklin Delano, Jr (the second son named for Franklin); and John Aspinwall.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sara...

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sara Delano Roosevelt, and Mr. and Mrs. James Roosevelt in New York City… – NARA – 197052 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although Eleanor never sought elected office she was surely America’s FIRST LADY.

“While she neither drafted legislation nor held elective office, she worked with other reformers outside and inside the administration to shape the contours of the New Deal.” [Franklin d. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum]

She also wrote  a syndicated column “My Day” six days a week  from 1935 til her death. It was her bully pulpit for social issues.

English: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Li...

After Franklin’s death she was

“…Selected to be a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, serving from 1945 to 1953. She also became the chair of the UN’s Human Rights Commission. As a part of this commission, she helped to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” [Biography]

English: Former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosev...

English: Former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with the English version of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Italiano: Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, moglie del presidente degli Stati Uniti, mostra la Dichiarazione in formato poster (1949) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She wrote about her experiences in 1937’s This Is My Story;  1949’s  This I Remember;  1958’s On My Own; and 1961’s Autobiography.

President Kennedy asked her to serve as chair of the Commission on the Status of Women and made her delegate to the UN in 1961.

Eleanor Roosevelt

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