History: North American History: Elenor Roosevelt

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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."

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt journeyed to New York City a week after her husband's funeral in April 1945. There a cluster of reporters were waiting at the door of her Washington Square apartment. "The story is over," she told them all simply, assuming that her words and opinions would no longer be of any interest once her husband was dead and she was no longer First Lady. However, she was clearly mistaken. The years have passed, and Eleanor Roosevelt's influence has continued to grow. Today she remains a powerful inspiration to leaders in both the civil rights and women's movements.

Eleanor was born on October 11, 1884.

She grew up pretty much all over New York. She came from a socially prominent family, and traveled a great deal and was a part of the New York society scene. Even though she was already high in stature in the New York State high-society, she frequently visited the great slums of New York City. This is where she learned first hand about the living conditions of the underprivileged.

Eleanor had shattered the traditional mold in which the First Lady's role had traditionally been fashioned. She also reshaped the position and part around her own skills and also her deep commitment, which was to social reform. She gave a voice to people who did not have access to power for a voice. She was the first woman to speak in front of a national convention, to write a syndicated column directed straight to the people of the...