You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’ tag.
The RMS Titanic at 100
One hundred years ago, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.Considered a marvel of sumptuous luxury and Progressive Era industrial engineering, the ship charged confidently through icy waters at high speeds, struck an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland, then went down in under three hours.
More than 1,500 people died, including very wealthy Americans and many poorer European emigrants. 710 survivors of the wreck were rescued from life boats and carried to New York by the British ship, RMS Carpathia. The Roosevelt and Delano families knew several of the first class passengers who died.
In honor of the Titanic‘s 100th anniversary, we look back at how FDR’s family reacted to the infamous disaster.
Photographs of the Edwardian-era Roosevelts
Daybook and Personal Letters
Sara Delano Roosevelt’s 1912 Daybook (left): “Heard of the Titanic’s collision with an iceberg”
FDR to Sara Delano Roosevelt, April 17th, 1912: “We know practically no details, only scraps here and there.”
Sara Delano Roosevelt to FDR, April 24th, 1912: “…oh! the tragedies in steerage as well.”
Eleanor Roosevelt to FDR, April 17-24, 1912: “I don’t think I will ever let you go away alone again.”
2012: The Girl Scouts of America turns 100
March 12, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the first organized meeting of the Girl Scouts, hosted in Georgia by founder Juliette Gordon Low. Several years later, as First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt served as Honorary President of that organization throughout her tenure in the White House.
In the 1930s and 40s individual Scouts sent letters, scrapbooks and gifts to both the President and Mrs. Roosevelt. Below is one such letter to ER from Scout Julie Ann Dorr, then age 11, sent in August of 1941. She wrote to the First Lady: “I thought you would be interested in hearing Camp Osito news, including word about the horses they have up there.”
We thought this would be a great photo to share in celebration of International Women’s Day:
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948 in the midst of an especially bitter phase of the Cold War. Many people contributed to this remarkable achievement, but most observers believe that the UN Commission on Human Rights, which drafted the declaration, would not have succeeded in reaching agreement without the leadership of the Commission’s chair: Eleanor Roosevelt. ER herself regarded her role in drafting and securing adoption of the Declaration as her greatest achievement.
“This Is No Ordinary Time”
Tensions ran high as Eleanor Roosevelt approached the podium to address the delegates of the 1940 Democratic National Convention. The prior evening’s raucous proceedings, which led to FDR’s nomination for an unprecedented third term candidacy, had been long and trying. Now FDR’s subsequent insistence on Henry Wallace as Vice Presidential running mate was unpopular and controversial. The war in Europe loomed threateningly over the American psyche and ideological differences concerning neutrality, and a host of other political issues exposed fissures in the Democratic Party ranks. The Convention was at a standstill and bordered on outright revolt.
FDR (who was in Washington) and Frances Perkins (on the ground in Chicago) encouraged Mrs. Roosevelt to immediately fly to Chicago to bring the party together. She agreed to do so, and when she appeared on stage that night she called for unified action, saying [excerpt]:
“You must know that this is the time when all good men and women give every bit of service and strength to their country that they have to give. This is the time when it is the United States that we fight for, the domestic policies that we have established as a party that we must believe in, that we must carry forward, and in the world we have a position of great responsibility.
We cannot tell from day to day what may come. This is no ordinary time. No time for weighing anything except what we can do best for the country as a whole, and that responsibility rests on each and every one of us as individuals.”
The effect of her words was transformative. A silence marked by respect and admiration followed her message, somberly and palpably shifting the atmosphere. Balloting began immediately after she sat down and the Convention went on to nominate Henry A. Wallace to run alongside Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 election.
Eleanor Roosevelt delivered this historic speech using only a single page of notes:
Read the full speech online by visiting the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project