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  • Laci Barry Post

Eleanor: Our World War II First Lady

The more I learn about Eleanor Roosevelt, the more I admire her. Even though she was born to a wealthy, privileged family, she had to overcome many adversities throughout life, including her parents’ early death, low self-esteem, the loss of a child in infancy, her husband’s disability, and marital unfaithfulness. Despite these hardships, she became a confident, successful woman who helped many people during her lifetime.

She was our longest serving first lady and our first lady throughout World War II until her husband’s death, and she still contributed after the war. This was not without controversy. Some did not like her involvement in political or social projects, but she thrived in those environments.

After FDR’s death, Eleanor became a spokesman for the United Nations, and in 1950, she traveled throughout Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Holland, France, and England to observe and report on economic progress in countries participating in the Marshall Plan after World War II. The plan gave financial support to European countries devastated by World War II.

Eleanor produced a short film about this time in Europe, and you can still see it today on C-Span’s website at

Eleanor Roosevelt was as fascinating as her husband and contributed much to our country before, during, and after World War II!

I picked the photo above of her with the family's dog, Fala, because I thought it showed the fun, soft of her that many could not picture. I also love Fala! You can see a statue of the little Scottish Terrier at the Little White House in Warm Springs, GA.

“The news program had moved on. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was visiting the Netherlands. She was now the United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, and Victoria watched as the Dutch people greeted her like returning royalty. After all, she had become close friends with their Princess Juliana and daughters during the war when they came to the United States for safety. Victoria admired Eleanor’s stately, black hat as she paraded through the people. While Grandpa Chester loved President Roosevelt because he believed that Roosevelt had single-handedly delivered the country from the Depression, he always griped that Mrs. Roosevelt meddled too much and didn’t stay in her place. Victoria disagreed with her father. Eleanor was a woman who got things done, and she appreciated that in any woman.”

Songbird, Chapter 28


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