Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt?
Elizabeth Wolf, Gare Thompson
Illustrated by Elizabeth Wolf.
Age range: 8 - 11 Years.
For a long time, the main role of First Ladies was to act as hostesses of the White House...until Eleanor Roosevelt. Born in 1884, Eleanor was not satisfied to just be a glorified hostess for her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Eleanor had a voice, and she used it to speak up against poverty and racism. She had experience and knowledge of many issues, and fought for laws to help the less fortunate. She had passion, energy, and a way of speaking that made people listen, and she used these gifts to campaign for her husband and get him elected president-four times! A fascinating historical figure in her own right, Eleanor Roosevelt changed the role of First Lady forever.
A biography of the woman who served as First Lady for the longest time, and who was the first President's wife to speak out about important issues of the day, by writing newspapers articles and books, giving radio interviews and speeches, and teaching classes.
Thanksgiving dinner long ago. Now she and her friends worked at the settlement houses in lower New York City. Eleanor taught exercise and dancing to children. While her friends arrived in their carriages, Eleanor took public transportation. People told her it was not safe to do this, but she did it anyway. Eleanor wrote to Franklin, who was still at Harvard, that she found her hours teaching the children the “nicest part of the day.” Eleanor also began working to help make factories safer and
newlyweds. Later on, when she was asked about the day, Eleanor would just smile and shrug. After all, Teddy was her favorite uncle. Teddy’s daughter, Alice, said of the day, “Father always wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.” The couple first went to Hyde Park, New York, where Franklin had grown up. Then they returned to New York City so that Franklin could study for his law exams. They lived in a small apartment near Columbia University. As soon as
full of spirit and independence. She wore her brown hair piled high on her head. She looked like a well-bred young woman. Eleanor and her friends tried to dress and look like Gibson Girls. But, for Eleanor, fashion never was as important as for some. What interested her most were the issues of the day. The United States entered World War I in 1917. Suddenly, soldiers were everywhere in Washington, D.C. Eleanor worked hard for the Red Cross. She visited soldiers. She served coffee and food. This
must give up politics, said Sara. Instead, he could spend his time collecting stamps, which was a lifelong hobby of his, and being cared for. Eleanor, for the first time, said no to her mother-in-law. She did not want Franklin to become an invalid. He had important work to do. She wanted him to stay in politics. So Franklin began a painful program of exercise to rebuild his strength. He would never walk again without heavy braces. Even then, he could walk only a few steps. Still, Eleanor kept
convention voted for Henry Wallace, FDR’s choice for vice president. Once again, Eleanor campaigned hard for Franklin. Now as many people came to hear Eleanor speak as they did to hear the president. And he won again, the first president elected to a third term. After the U.S. joined World War II, Eleanor visited soldiers all around the world. She was like a substitute mother. She took messages home to their families. She comforted them. She wrote letters to them. Eleanor was now the most