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7 Cards in this Set

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In 1941 Look Magazine put out an article on “The Ten Most Powerful People in Washington.” On this list was the famous Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. She was known as “a force on public opinion, on the President, and on the government...... the most influential woman of our times.” Eleanor is known as the most admired and the most criticized woman in American history. For every one person that applauded her for her courage to speak out, there was another person who said she was too free with her opinions.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884 in New York City. She was the daughter of Anna Hall and Elliot Roosevelt. Eleanor was educated by tutors and finished at an exclusive private school. In 1892 Eleanor Roosevelt’s mother died of diphtheria, Eleanor was only eight years old. After Eleanor’s mother died she and her siblings were taken care of by their Grandmother Hall. Eleanor’s father, Elliot, drank alcohol too much. His alcohol abuse led to accidents. Just two years after her mother had died her father fell and became unconscious, he never recovered.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a distant cousin of Eleanor. Franklin was much different than Eleanor, but they were drawn to each other. When Franklin was 21 years old and Eleanor was 19 years old, they got engaged. On Saint Patrick’s Day in 1905 Franklin and Eleanor got married. Between the years 1906 and 1916, Eleanor gave birth to six children. She did not plan or want six children.
During the first couple of years of Eleanor and Franklin’s marriage, Franklin began to chart his future. He had a career plan in mind that would one day make him the President. As his plan began to unfold, Eleanor was learning to speak her mind on matters related to his professional life. Franklin and Eleanor moved to Albany while Franklin was in the NY State Senate. By her late twenties, Eleanor was no longer overwhelmed by the demands of her life but had learned to manage her busy lifestyle.
When WWI broke out in Europe, the pattern of Eleanor’s life changed. In 1917, the U.S. entered WWI and Eleanor helped the war effort by helping organize a Navy Red Cross. Eleanor’s world suddenly changed when she found out Franklin had a romantic relationship with her secretary, Lucy Mercer. Eleanor agreed to keep the marriage together but she never again lived with him as though they were a couple bond in mutual trust.
In Eleanor’s thirties, she began to learn who she really was and her vocation of helping others through political means was in place. In 1917, Eleanor hadn’t supported women’s suffrage but the next year Eleanor voted in N.Y. state elections. In 1919, she was known through her work to host foreign delegates as part of the International Congress of Working Women.
During the summer of 1921, Franklin complained of a chill and pain in his legs, he was then diagnosed with polio. Franklin now had to be in a wheelchair, and Eleanor was by his side continuing to help him achieve his political goals. In 1928, Franklin was elected governor of New York. Eleanor had continued to develop her interests; she was a teacher at Todhunter School and Director of Bureau of Women Activities.
In 1932, Franklin achieved his goal of becoming President of the United States. Eleanor continued to be an asset to Franklin’s career, and she was the only first lady to conduct all female press conferences. Many events shaped Franklin’s presidency, and enabled Franklin to put innovative ideas in place for the country, Franklin was able to implement “the New Deal.” This helped the country climb out of the Great Depression.
Eleanor’s contributions to the country continued as she was Franklin’s “eyes and legs.’ Eleanor brought issues to Franklin’s attention that might have otherwise been overlooked. Eleanor took tours of coal mines, prisons, and tried to use creative solutions to social problems, as exemplified by the “Arthurdale” concept put in place in Appalachian region. Eleanor’s philosophy was to get bureaucracy into action.
During WWII, Eleanor had three world tours, the purpose of these tours was to promote goodwill as well as to show affection for the soldiers and promote American ideals. Eleanor continued her grassroots war effort; visiting Red Cross clubs, visiting soldiers in the Pacific, and touring the site of the graves of dead soldiers at Guadalcanal. Eleanor’s war efforts did much to boast morale.
Franklin Roosevelt’s health was deteriorating and by 1944 was in decline. On April 12, 1945, Eleanor was at a meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco when she found out that Franklin had fainted. Eleanor kept going that day, expecting to see Franklin in Warm Springs that afternoon. Upon Eleanor’s arrival in Warm Springs, she found that Franklin had died.
After Franklin’s death, Eleanor moved into an apartment in New York’s Greenwich Village, where a reporter asked her what she was going to do next and she told him “the story is over.” Eleanor felt that there was nothing further to report since Franklin was gone.
In the last 17 years of Eleanor’s life, Eleanor proved that she was a force in her own right. Eleanor successfully represented the United Nations as an ambassador to many countries. Eleanor embarked upon a new career as a diplomat at the United Nations, having both praise and criticism for her work. Eleanor Roosevelt was undoubtedly one of the most recognized individuals in the world.
Early in 1962, when Eleanor was 77 years old, she began to show signs and symptoms of poor health. Eleanor was diagnosed with an incurable condition which caused her to be in the hospital. On October 11th, on her 78th birthday, Eleanor was in the hospital again. Eleanor was released from the hospital a week later and put to bed at her home. Eleanor was ready to die because she didn’t want to suffer a lingering illness. Eleanor Roosevelt’s life came to an end on November 7, 1962. Reporters later observed that it was thirty years to the day after Franklin was first elected president that Eleanor died. The reporters knew she was seriously ill because, she had failed to vote in the recent election.
As you can see Anna Eleanor Roosevelt led a truly inspiring life. She showed the world that no matter what she had to do she would do it with pride and dignity. Her values and her ideas helped many to speak out and improve the lives of others. Eleanor Roosevelt was a truly wonderful woman and her story is an inspiration to me and many others.