Today in World History: October 11th

Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, was born on this day in 1884. Despite having a tragic childhood, with both of her parents dying, along with one of her brothers, Eleanor went to study in London at the age of fifteen. She then married her distant relative Franklin Roosevelt, and became heavily involved in his political career. She began making speeches on his behalf due to his polio, and started to make a name for herself in the political world, particularity as a human rights advocate. Her husband became President in 1933, and she used her husband’s influence to spread the word on her campaigns, speaking with the media and holding conventions. Although her tenure as First Lady was ripe with controversy, upon her husband’s death in 1945, after four terms as President, she began forming and becoming involved in committees to advance women’s rights, becoming the United States’ delegate to the United Nations and representing America in a variety of other committees. She died on November 7, 1962, at the age of seventy-eight of complications from anemia and tuberculosis.

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

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