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Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933


Quill_and_ink.pngEleanor Roosevelt was the wife of Franklin Roosevelt and one of the most influential first ladies in United States history.

Go to the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project for an extensive biography from The George Washington University

Go to the White House site for short biography

See also short biography from National Women's History Museum

Blanche Wiesen Cook Continues Her Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, The New York Times (November 18, 2016)


primary_sources.PNGPrimary Sources


Eleanor Roosevelt Letter to the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1939

Letter from Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936 from Race Relations in the 1930s and 1940s, Library of Congress

Eleanor Roosevelt's Four Basic Rights, 1944

My Day: A Comprehensive Electronic Edition of Eleanor Roosevelt's My Day Newspaper Columns
  • 6 Day a week Newspaper Column that Eleanor Roosevelt wrote from December 30, 1935 to September 26, 1962
    • At its height, the column appeared in 90 newspaper nationwide with a readership of 4,034,552
      • By the 1950s, the column voiced her political positions and political activities

At a WPA Negro nursery school, Des Moines, 1936
At a WPA Negro nursery school, Des Moines, 1936

Progressive Era and the New Deal


Roosevelt represented several ideologies of the Progressive Era. She believed that the environment in which an individual lived in played a large role on shaping this person's socioeconomic 'fate.'

This perspective rejected Social Darwinism and embraced 'Social Gospel.'
  • Roosevelt believed that the government had a social responsibility to maintain equality, justice, and various living/working standards.

In the early 1920s, Roosevelt became a member of several unions/clubs preaching similar attitudes.
  • Women's Trade Union League
  • League of Women's Voters
  • National Consumers League
  • City Club of New York
    • These groups fought to establish a minimum wage, maximum hours, child labor laws, and worker safety standards.

For more information on the Progressive Era and Eleanor Roosevelt's contributions, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/teach-er-vk/lesson-plans/notes-er-and-progressivism.htm

Official White House Portrait
Official White House Portrait

WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPGEleanor Roosevelt as First Lady

Eleanor Roosevelt also supposedly bisexual and had a close romantic friendship with White House journalist, Lorena A. Hickok.

The Declaration of Human Rights

As a U.S. international delegate she also helped craft the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in December 1945.

rotating gif.gifSee World History II.29 for more information on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations


Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 12.30.24 PM.pngTeaching Resources


Click here for a lesson plan on Eleanor Roosevelt and letters written to her by children.

Rotating_globe-small.gifPresident Truman, Harry Truman and Civil Rights from Eleanor and Harry: The Correspondence of Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, University of Missouri