Eleanor Roosevelt
Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2005


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Eleanor Roosevelt—Stateswoman and Social Reformer

October 11, 1884, New York, New York, 11:00AM, EST. (Source: Recorded at Birth) Died, November 7, 1962, of tuberculosis, in New York, NY.  

(Ascendant, Sagittarius; Sun and Mercury in Libra; Moon in Cancer; Venus and Uranus in Virgo; Mars in Scorpio; Jupiter in Leo-orthodox ruler of the Ascendant; Saturn and Pluto in Gemini; Neptune in Taurus).

Above all, Eleanor Roosevelt was an apostle of peace and of right human relations — the true meaning of the sign Libra. One of her major messages was that of fairness — especially in relation to those who were less fortunate or privileged. Her international sphere of activity and her progressivism are indicated by Sagittarius, and her well known shyness, domesticity and sympathy by the Cancer Moon. Although their personal relationship chilled (Venus in Virgo) because of Franklin Roosevelt’s amorous nature, she formed and maintained the truest kind of Libran partnership with him. Throughout his presidency, she was in very many respects his equal, his trusted advisor, and indispensable partner. 

Franklin Roosevelt was primarily a first ray disciple—in his soul nature. Eleanor was his counterbalance, offering the qualities of compassion and humanism so frequently expressed by those upon the second ray. She was a source of inspiration and reconciliation to many, promoting many progressive and liberal causes (second and sixth rays combined). It might be said that Eleanor Roosevelt firmly established the concept of the “First Lady” as a working partner to her husband the president. Before her time, no wife of any president had emerged with such strength and influence. Her influence, however, was largely that of the magnetic power of the heart, indicated by her ruling planet Jupiter in the sign of the heart—Leo.


No writing has any real value which is not the expression of genuine thought and feeling.

wrote her "My Day" column from 1935 until shortly before her death in 1962. The column was 500 words long and appeared six days a week; the only days it wasn't published were the four days after FDR's death. Whether she was at home in the White House, visiting the troops in the South Pacific, in Paris working at the UN, or relaxing at Val-Kill, the column was written and dispatched to the syndicate who distributed it to the many newspapers in which it ran (for a list of those newspapers, see the Links page).
The columns touched on every imaginable topic, both controversial and mundane. Whatever the subject, however, ER put her heart, her soul, and deep thought into each one. It is in these columns, perhaps even more than through the several books she wrote, that her true humanity, her wit, her concern for those less fortunate, her deep wisdom, and her great intellect are evident. That she wrote each column in about an hour is almost as amazing as the woman herself.

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." January 8, 1936
"A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think." January 22, 1936
"...real prosperity can only come when everybody prospers." March 19, 1936
"I wish for those I love this New Year an opportunity to earn sufficient, to have that which they need for their own and to give that which they desire to others, to bring into the lives of those about them some measure of joy, to know the satisfaction of work well done, of recreation earned and therefore savored, to end the year a little wiser, a little kinder and therefore a little happier." January 1, 1937
"It is not so much what people do in this world as their reasons for doing it which really makes a difference. Sacrifices are not so important as the reasons for which you sacrifice, and no sacrifice is any good which remains ever present as such." May 13, 1937
"There are practical little things in housekeeping which no man really understands..." December 4, 1937
"...the kind of calm which comes when one has done the best one can." April 17, 1938
"...it seems difficult to make humanity rise to certain heights except in crises." September 23, 1938
"Without doubt human beings are the most interesting study in the world." January 5, 1939
"...all wars eventually act as boomerangs and the victor suffers as much as the vanquished." February 7, 1939
"It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death." April 1, 1939
"...many people have so much to bear themselves that sympathy for anyone else is out of the question." April 13, 1939
"Happiness may exist under all conditions, given the right kind of people and sufficient economic security for adequate food and shelter." May 31, 1939
"...the only advantage of not being too good a housekeeper is that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are." June 6, 1939
"I wonder if Communists occupied in producing plays are not safer than Communists starving to death. I have always felt that whatever your beliefs might be, if you could earn enough to keep body and soul together and had to be pretty busy doing that, you would not be very apt to have time to plot the overthrow of any existing government." June 20, 1939
"...the things you refuse to meet today always come back at you later on, usually under circumstances which make the decision twice as difficult as it originally was." July 13, 1939
"...laws are only observed with he consent of the individuals concerned and a moral change still depends on the individual and not on the passage of any law." July 14, 1939
"How can the men who have enacted this legislation go home and face their wives and children, when they have decreed starvation for other men's wives and children?" August 8, 1939
"Will people ever be wise enough to refuse to follow bad leaders or to take away the freedom of other people?" October 16, 1939
"We have all made such a fetish of financial success and forgotten frequently that success of any kind, when it does not include success in one's personal relationships, is bound in the end to leave both the man and the woman with very little real satisfaction." October 20, 1939
"If you have any interests you can gain a wider audience for those interests while the goldfish bowl is yours!" January 26, 1940
"...so often people you admire at a distance do not mean so much to you after you meet them." February 12, 1940
"I have felt that people were 'mean-mad' at times and wondered if life were not treating them so harshly that they were unable to retain any of the qualities which make people lovable and that make life worth living." February 23, 1940
"When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor." February 23, 1940
"When all is said and done, and statesmen discuss the future of the world, the fact remains that people fight these wars." May 9, 1940
"Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which mean very little." July 1, 1940
"...conservation of land and conservation of people frequently go hand in hand." September 4, 1940
"Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it." September 23, 1940
"...marriage and the up-bringing of children in the home require as well-trained a mind and as well-disciplined a character as any other occupation that might be considered a career." March 28, 1941
"I think we ought to impress on both our girls and boys that successful marriages require just as much work, just as much intelligence and just as much unselfish devotion, as they give to any position they undertake to fill on a paid basis." March 28, 1941
"I have learned long ago to possess my soul in patience and accept the inevitable." April 15, 1941
"...it is our freedom to progress that makes us all want to live and to go on." May 29, 1941
"This living in a democracy is a problem, isn't it?" June 18, 1941
"The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it." July 7, 1941
"...whatever come we have to meet it." August 16, 1941
"...one should always sleep in all of one's guest beds, to make sure that they are comfortable." September 11, 1941
"Long ago, I made up my mind that when things were said involving only me, I would pay no attention to them, except when valid criticism was carried by which I could profit." January 14, 1942
"...to some of us, hunger was more academic than real, but we must try to develop the ability to feel the urgency of such a situation." January 14, 1942
"My life can be so arranged that I can live on whatever I have. If I cannot live as I have lived in the past, I shall live differently, and living differently does not mean living with less attention to the things that make life gracious and pleasant or with less enjoyment of things of the mind." September 21, 1942
"One of the blessings of age is to learn not to part on a note of sharpness, to treasure the moments spent with those we love, and to make them whenever possible good to remember, for time is short." February 5, 1943
"At all times, day by day, we have to continue fighting for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom from want--for these are things that must be gained in peace as well as in war." April 15, 1943
One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education... The second way of enslaving a people is to suppress the sources of information, not only by burning books but by controlling all the other ways in which ideas are transmitted." May 11, 1943
"Only a man's character is the real criterion of worth." August 22, 1944
"...without equality there can be no democracy." October 12, 1944
"...I have never felt that anything really mattered by the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." November 8, 1944
"...at any age it does us no harm to look over our past shortcomings and plan to improve our characters and actions in the coming year." January 1, 1945
"I would not be happy unless I had some regular work to do every day and I imagine that I will always feel that way no matter how old I am..." February 10, 1945
"An economic policy which does not consider the well-being of all will not serve the purposes of peace and the growth of well-being among the people of all nations." February 14, 1945

A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Actors are one family over the entire world.

Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.

Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think, recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.

As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.

Campaign behavior for wives: Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.

Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

For it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.

Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.

Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.

I could never say in the morning, "I have a headache and cannot do thus and so". Headache or no headache, thus and so had to be done.

I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiousity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.

I used to tell my husband that, if he could make me 'understand' something, it would be clear to all the other people in the country.

If you have any interests you can gain a wider audience for those interests while the goldfish bowl is yours!

If, as I can't help suspecting, the dead also feel the pains of separation (and this may be one of their purgatorial sufferings), then for both lovers, and for all pairs of lovers without exception, bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love.

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.

It is not more vacation we need - it is more vocation.

It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.

It was a wife's duty to be interested in whatever interested her husband, whether it was politics, books, or a particular dish for dinner.

It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Old age has deformities enough of its own. It should never add to them the deformity of vice.

One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

Only a man's character is the real criterion of worth.

Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the shadows, which are at morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday.

So I took an interest in politics, but I don't know whether I enjoyed it! It was a wife's duty to be interested in whatever interested her husband, whether it was politics, books, or a particular dish for dinner.

Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which mean very little.

The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.

The Bible illustrated by Dore occupied many of my hours - and I think probably gave me many nightmares.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

The giving of love is an education in itself.

The only advantage of not being too good a housekeeper is that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are.

The only things one can admire at length are those one admires without knowing why.

There are practical little things in housekeeping which no man really understands.

Too often the great decisions are originated and given form in bodies made up wholly of men, or so completely dominated by them that whatever of special value women have to offer is shunted aside without expression.

Understanding is a two-way street.

We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.

What is to give light must endure the burning.

When all is said and done, and statesmen discuss the future of the world, the fact remains that people fight these wars.

When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor.

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!

You can't move so fast that you try to change the mores faster than people can accept it. That doesn't mean you do nothing, but it means that you do the things that need to be done according to priority.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'

You must do the things you think you cannot do.


A shy, awkward child, starved for recognition and love, grew into a woman with great sensitivity to the underprivileged of all creeds, races, and nations. Her constant work to improve their lot made her one of the most loved--and for some years one of the most revered--women of her generation.
She was born in New York City on October 11, 1884, daughter of lovely Anna Hall and Elliott Roosevelt, younger brother of Theodore. When her mother died in 1892, the children went to live with Grandmother Hall; her adored father died only two years later. Attending a distinguished school in England gave her, at 15, her first chance to develop self-confidence among other girls.
Tall, slender, graceful of figure but apprehensive at the thought of being a wallflower, she returned for a debut that she dreaded. In her circle of friends was a distant cousin, handsome young Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They became engaged in 1903 and were married in 1905, with her uncle the President giving the bride away. Within eleven years Eleanor bore six children; one son died in infancy. "I suppose I was fitting pretty well into the pattern of a fairly conventional, quiet, young society matron," she wrote later in her autobiography.
In Albany, where Franklin served in the state Senate from 1910 to 1913, Eleanor started her long career as political helpmate. She gained a knowledge of Washington and its ways while he served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. When he was stricken with poliomyelitis in 1921, she tended him devotedly. She became active in the women's division of the State Democratic Committee to keep his interest in politics alive. From his successful campaign for governor in 1928 to the day of his death, she dedicated her life to his purposes. She became eyes and ears for him, a trusted and tireless reporter.
When Mrs. Roosevelt came to the White House in 1933, she understood social conditions better than any of her predecessors and she transformed the role of First Lady accordingly. She never shirked official entertaining; she greeted thousands with charming friendliness. She also broke precedent to hold press conferences, travel to all parts of the country, give lectures and radio broadcasts, and express her opinions candidly in a daily syndicated newspaper column, "My Day."
This made her a tempting target for political enemies but her integrity, her graciousness, and her sincerity of purpose endeared her personally to many--from heads of state to servicemen she visited abroad during World War II. As she had written wistfully at 14: "...no matter how plain a woman may be if truth & loyalty are stamped upon her face all will be attracted to her...."
After the President's death in 1945 she returned to a cottage at his Hyde Park estate; she told reporters: "the story is over." Within a year, however, she began her service as American spokesman in the United Nations. She continued a vigorous career until her strength began to wane in 1962. She died in New York City that November, and was buried at Hyde Park beside her husband.

1884 October 11: is born in New York City.
1892 Elliott Roosevelt, Eleanor's father, is confined to a mental asylum; Eleanor's mother, Anna Hall Roosevelt, dies of diphtheria.
1894 August 13: Elliot Roosevelt dies of alcoholism.
1899 Eleanor enrolls at Allenswood School in England.
1901 President McKinley is assassinated six months after his second inauguration; Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, Eleanor's uncle, assumes the presidency.
1902 Eleanor leaves Allenswood and makes her society debut at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
1903 Eleanor becomes engaged to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her fifth cousin once removed. She enrolls in the Junior League of New York where she teaches calisthenics and dancing to immigrants. She joins the Consumers' League and investigates working conditions in the garment districts.
1905 March 17: Eleanor marries Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York.
1906 May 3: Eleanor gives birth to her first child, Anna.
1907 December 23: Eleanor gives birth to her second child, James.
1909 March 18: Eleanor gives birth to her third child, Franklin, Jr. He dies of influenza soon after.
1910 September 23: Eleanor has her fourth child, Elliott.

First Lady of the World, Diplomat & Humanitarian
First Lady 1933-1945
Wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Born: October 11, 1884 - Died November 7, 1962
Similar in demeanor to Abigail Adams, went beyond her traditional role as the wife of a President of the United States, and being a very public person, dedicated herself to causes of humankind. It was her never tiring heart, good will and tenaciousness that won her the deserved title as "First Lady of the World."
Anna was born on October 11, 1884 in New York City, the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt, who was the rich, alcoholic brother of Theodore Roosevelt and Anna Livingston Hall Roosevelt. Growing up, Eleanor was very shy because her mother always accused her of being homely.
Orphaned at the young age of nine, she was sent to live with her grandmother who raised her. Eleanor was quite unhappy living there, and learning very little in the process. Finally at age fifteen, her aunt, Anna Roosevelt, stepped in and sent Eleanor to Allenswood, a boarding school in England, where she was influenced by the headmistress, Marie Souvestre, who espoused unpopular causes. At the age of eighteen, Eleanor taught dance at a settlement house in New York, and was a member of the National Consumers' League. As such she visited many factories and sweatshops where she investigated health and safety concerns of the workers.
Two years later she made her debut, not as the homely woman her grandmother thought, but quite cultured and graceful. Franklin Roosevelt, a distant cousin was trying his best to get Eleanor to marry him. Finally, Franklin and Eleanor were married in New York on March 17, 1905. Eleanor was given in marriage by her uncle, Theodore Roosevelt. Eleanor continued her dance teaching until her mother-in-law forced her to quit for fear that she would bring home diseases. Eleanor did teach again, when her children were grown, as a history instructor at Todhunter, a private girls' school that she and some friends ran on New York's Upper East Side. Upon assuming her responsibilities as First Lady, she reluctantly resigned.
At the start of their marriage, problems existed by the ever-presence of her mother-in-law, who lived with them at times and who dominated the household. Eleanor and Franklin had six children, one of whom died in infancy. Eleanor spent much of this time raising her family, until Franklin entered politics. When her husband was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, she spent much of her time performing the "required" social functions in Washington. She further devoted herself tirelessly to the Red Cross during World War I.
In 1921, Franklin was stricken with infantile paralysis (polio), and it was at this time that Eleanor began her career, one of keeping her husband in politics, as well as became more active in social service. Eleanor was an effective political organizer, when in 1924 she rallied women throughout New York state in support of the Democratic Party and led a delegation to the Democratic National Convention. She would make speeches on Franklin's behalf, and upon his election to Governor in 1928, she directed the national women's campaign for the party, and traveled throughout the state inspecting areas for his attention. Four years later in 1932, Eleanor coordinated the activities of the Women's Division of the Democratic Party and became its leading activist.
She continued this practice during her husband's Presidency, flying to many locations, and acting as an invaluable adviser to him. Eleanor traveled so much that she became known as the "Flying First Lady." In the 1930s, air travel by most Americans was considered unsafe, or at least risky. The airlines tried many types of advertisements in the hope of convincing Americans that air travel was safe. As Eleanor flew from Washington to New York on a regular basis, she was the airlines best advertisement. In furtherance to convince Americans that flying was safe, she published an article titled "Flying Is Fun." She often permitted photographs to be taken of her standing next to airplanes which proved an invaluable seal of approval for air travel. Airlines considered Eleanor their best friend since Charles Lindbergh, and she once accepted an invitation from Amelia Earhart to fly with her over the Capitol at night. For the event, Amelia even wore a long evening dress at the controls.
She traveled so much, she first met with some criticism, in that as First Lady, others believed she should be at home to take care of her husband. She explained this away because due to her husband's limited mobility, she was acting as his eyes and ears. Many Americans approved of her independence, but many did not. Her mother-in-law, who continued to dote on her son, said many times that she never assumed when Eleanor may show up at home, nor knew of her whereabouts.
Eleanor also gave much attention to civil rights and spoke out for the disadvantaged. For this, she was quite popular with the African American community. She spent much of her time visiting coal mines, slum areas and relief projects, and through her press conferences that she held in the White House Monroe Room, and her newspaper column titled "My Day," she reached millions, and financially helped people out of her own pocket. Her advocacy of the poor brought her thousands of letters, of which she answered about one hundred a day. During 1933 she had received more than 300,000 letters, which were appeals for help. In addition to personally answering as many as she could, she also referred appropriate ones to Government agencies for action. Eleanor's public forums were as popular and noteworthy as her husband's famous "fireside chats." Many times Eleanor would receive reporters dressed in her riding clothes, but in her mind did not realize she was making a fashion statement. As she had a considerable income of her own, both inherited and earned, she spent little on fashion. She was known to purchase ten dollar dresses rather than indulge in more extravagant dress. One time when reporters speculated that she spent less than three hundred dollars one year on her wardrobe, she proudly saved the newspaper article in her scrapbook.
Having lived in the White House for twelve years, the longest of any First Lady, she made the house a comfortable place, but showed little interest in interior decorating. She furnished the house for comfort, not elegance, like she did at her cottage at Hyde Park. Here she used overstuffed furniture in non-coordinated patterns, but they served her well. She thought it more important to pay attention to the conversation of the people sitting in the furniture, rather than spend time and energy picking out matching fabric samples. Additionally, her tenure as First Lady fell during the Great Depression and World War II, and she furthermore was not going to spend money fool heartedly. She also limited receptions, as Franklin could not stand for extended periods of time greeting visitors. Once she planned a picnic at Hyde Park for Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, whereby her intended menu was to serve hot dogs. This infuriated her mother-in-law who wrote to her in protest, and Eleanor said that this letter was "only one of many I have received." However, steadfast, Eleanor refused to be bullied into serving more regal fare, and stuck to her original menu. The king and queen were delighted with her menu, and said so, which resulted in the First Lady proclaiming their visit a complete success.
During World War II, times were not happy as their sons were in the service, and Eleanor fought a continuing battle to assist her husband and keep his strength during these war years. In 1941 she was appointed assistant director of the office of civilian defense, as well as visited military camps and hospitals in the United States and overseas.
Upon her husband's death in 1945, she moved to a New York apartment, and continued to write her newspaper column. Under President Truman, she was appointed a delegate to the United Nations in 1946, working for human rights worldwide, a job she handled most effectively. As a US Representative at the General Assembly from1946 to1951 and as chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission from 1947 to1951, she won acclaim for her compelling sponsorship on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which was her proudest achievement.
In addition to her syndicated column My Day, Eleanor wrote several other books. In 1933 she authored It's Up To The Women; India and the Awakening East; and 's Christmas Book.
Having survived her husband by many years, Eleanor died on November 7, 1962. Upon her death her family chose for her tombstone only her name and her birth and death dates. They felt the rest would be written and told by others. How true.
was a great humanitarian and wonderful human being, who in many of her belief's was years before her time. At her memorial service, Adlai Stevenson asked, "What other single human being has touched and transformed the existence of so many?"
I think that statement covers her so well.
Copyright© John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author. From The First Ladies of the United States by John T. Marck.

Anna (October 11 1884 - November 7 1962) was an American human rights activist, diplomat and as the wife of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest acting First Lady. As was an active First Lady, she traveled around the United States promoting the New Deal and visted troops at the frontlines during World War II. She was a first-wave Feminist and an active supporter of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Mrs. Roosevelt was active in the formations of numerous institutions most notably the United Nations, United Nations Association and Freedom House. She chaired the committe that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Harry S. Truman called her the First Lady of the World, in honor of her extensive travels to promote human rights.
Mrs. Roosevelt was the eldest child of Elliot Roosevelt and Anna Hall Roosevelt and was a favorite niece of Theodore Roosevelt. On St. Patrick's Day, 1905 she married a fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In 1939, the opera singer Marian Anderson was refused permission to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington because of her skin color. Mrs. Roosevelt arranged for Anderson to perform from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, to a live audience of 70,000, and a nationwide radio audience.
Mrs. Roosevelt opposed her husband's decision to sign Executive Order 9066 which resulted in the internment of 110,000 Japanese nationals and American citizens of Japanese descent in concentration camps on the U.S. West Coast. In 1943 Mrs. Roosevelt, along with Wendell Willkie and other Americans concerned about the mounting threats to peace and democracy during World War II, established Freedom House.
After World War II, she was instrumental along with John Peters Humphrey and others in formulating the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights On the night of December 10, 1948, Mrs. Roosevelt spoke on behalf of the Declaration calling it the "the international Magna Carta of all mankind," and the Declaration was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly later that night.
In 1954 Tammany Hall boss Carmine DeSapio campaigned against her son, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr, in the New York Attorney General election and successfully defeated him. Mrs. Roosevelt held DeSapio responsible for her son's defeat and grew increasingly disgusted with his political conduct through the rest of the 1950s. Eventually, she would join with her old friends Herbert Lehman and Thomas Finletter to form the New York Committee for Democratic Voters, a group dedicated to enhancing the democratic process by opposing DeSapio's reincarnated Tammany. Eventually their efforts were successful, and in 1961 DeSapio was removed from power.
Mrs. Roosevelt was a close friend of Adlai Stevenson and was a strong supporter of his candidacies in the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections. When President Truman backed New York Governor W. Averell Harriman, who was a close associate of Carmine DeSapio, for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Roosevelt was disappointed but continued to support Stevesnon who ultimately won the nomination. She backed Stevenson once again in 1960 but John F. Kennedy received the presidential nomination instead.
She was responsible for the establishment of the 2,800 acre (11 km²) Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, New Brunswick in 1964 following a gift of the Roosevelt summer estate to the Canadian and American governments.
After her death, her son Elliot Roosevelt wrote a series of best-selling fictional murder mysteries wherein she acted as a detective, helping the police solve the crime, while she was First Lady. They feature actual places and celebrities of the time.


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