5. “I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”
She and her husband helped found the National Youth Administration to help young people take advantage of the opportunities that they were given. In addition to concern for youth, she was particularly concerned about the rights of minorities, especially African Americans. No longer the shy and timid girl who strove to earn acceptance, Eleanor was a powerhouse who was able to draw on her strength.
4. “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
America stood on the brink of World War II; a war fought against possibly the most racist regimes in history – Nazi Germany and imperial Japan – when racial tensions at home in America were also reaching a fever pitch. Eleanor used her position as the first lady as a platform to denounce racism, notably by defending the African-American singer Marion Anderson.
3. “When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”
Because Marion Anderson was black, the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow her to sing at Constitution Hall. Eleanor was a member of the DAR, but she renounced her membership and then arranged for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial to an audience of 75,000 people. At the time, not unlike today, people felt that her moves flew in the face of American values.
2. “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
FDR died in 1945, but Eleanor’s political career didn’t end until her death. The year after he died, she served on the nascent United Nations Commission on Human Rights as the very first chairperson; she went on to serve on the United Nations General Assembly until her death in 1962.
1. “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
Eleanor Roosevelt died in 1962. Before her death, President Harry Truman called her “First Lady to the World” for how she championed human rights, both at home and abroad. In 1968, she was posthumously given the Human Rights Prize to commemorate her dedication to those less fortunate than herself. Despite all of the challenges and setbacks she faced early on in life, she became an ultimate force for good.
Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources: