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When will our consciences grow tender?

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

Oct 22, 2013

Eleanor Roosevelt – 1884-1962

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest serving First Lady in American history. Her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, served four terms as president from 1933 - 1945. During that time Mrs. Roosevelt developed into a world class leader and servant of the people. When Mr. Roosevelt fell ill with polio, she encouraged him to remain in public office, and she made many public appearances in his stead. Some called her the First Lady of the World.

She did much for the sake of the civil rights movement, including inviting many African-Americans to the White House. In 1939, when the Daughters of the American Revolution prevented black opera singer, Marian Anderson, from singing at Constitution Hall, Mrs. Roosevelt resigned her membership with the DAR and arranged for Ms. Anderson to perform a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, she warned people to not get caught up in the mass hysteria of persecuting Japanese Americans. She did not agree with Mr. Roosevelt's decision to create Japanese internment camps. Later, one of her greatest regrets was that she did not push the president to accept more refugees who sought to escape from the Nazis.

She wrote a newspaper column called, "My Day," and frequently appeared as a speaker during a time when women were not encouraged to do so. She held over three hundred press conferences and advanced the mission of the First Lady by becoming an outspoken, yet beloved activist, rather than confining herself to more domestic tasks, such as entertaining at the White House.

She was a tireless advocate for the people, eventually becoming an Ambassador to the UN at the end of her life. She remains one of the most admired women of the twentieth century. 

Posted by Kimmy Sophia Brown

Image(s) from Wikimedia Commons

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