Eleanor Roosevelt

Audio Tour

Eleanor Roosevelt forged an active role for First Ladies of the United States, and showed the following:

  • COMPASSION: During World War I, Eleanor served in the American Red Cross to aid relief efforts.
  • COLLABORATION: Eleanor served with the United Nations for six years after her husband’s death.
  • RESPECT: Writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was no small feat, and it took an enormous amount of respect for people. At that time, social hierarchies were very strong. For example, men were given the most opportunities, and women, working-class people, people of color, and immigrants were often seen as less important – or sometimes, not important at all. Writing the Declaration of Human Rights helped people understand that everybody, no matter their circumstances, has the right to dignity, safety and opportunity. Eleanor considered this project to be the most important accomplishment of her life.
  • CELEBRATION: Eleanor celebrated diversity during John F. Kennedy’s campaign. During a campaign speech, she said, “Our nation enjoys its strength and its vitality because we are a melting pot. Because we have widely differing backgrounds, ideas, cultures that have merged and have made exciting the prospect [of] our pursuit of happiness.”
More in this category: « Harvey Milk Malala Yousafzai »