Friday, September 19, 2014

Eleanor Knits! Vintage Photo Friday

Like the rest of the country, I've been watching Ken Burns' "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History" on PBS.  This is a seven part series, encompassing the history of the U.S. from 1858 through 1962.  It's a fascinating series, with unseen footage and photographs.  Even though watching this series is taking over my life, I'm really enjoying it.
Eleanor Roosevelt was always held up to me as a champion for women's rights.  I remember seeing her on television when I was child, giving speeches, visiting disabled veterans and always stressing community involvement.  

From Wikipedia:  "Following her husband's (FDR's) death, Eleanor remained active in politics for the rest of her life.  She pressed the U.S. to join and support the United Nations and became one of its first delegates.  She served as the first chair of the U.S. Commission on Human Rights and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Later she chaired the John F. Kennedy administrations' Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.  By the time of her death in 1962, she was regarding as one of the most esteemed women in the world and the object of almost universal respect."

1932.  Eleanor Roosevelt knitting in Albany, NY

I knew that Eleanor Roosevelt was a knitter, so I did a bit of online research and came up with a few photos of Eleanor engaging in one of my favorite pastimes.  I've read that she liked to knit while listening to long political speeches in person and on the radio.  Me too!   Eleanor knit on long car trips.  Me too!  Eleanor knit all the time.  Me too!

Eleanor, knitting on the beach at Campobello

Eleanor, knitting while listening to the radio

Here's another interesting fact that amazed and delighted me.  I was discussing the Roosevelt mini-series with my brother, Ken.  He informed me that he'd met Eleanor Roosevelt when he was in the fifth grade at Beverly Vista Elementary School in Beverly Hills.  WHAT?!  That is so cool.  Ken said that Eleanor Roosevelt's god daughter, Eleanor Martin was in his class at school and that Roosevelt had come to Beverly Vista to speak to his class.  I researched this online and found out that Eleanor Roosevelt was indeed in Beverly Hills in January, 1956! This entry does mention that she accompanied Mrs. Martin and her two little girls to school, before a hair and manicure appointment.  Wow!   I wonder if she brought her knitting to the beauty parlor?

Beverly Vista Elementary School, Beverly Hills

Addendum:  More online research resulted in Mrs. Hershey Martin's obituary and her connection to Eleanor Roosevelt.  Click on this link to see a photo of Mrs. Martin, the former Mayris Chaney, and Eleanor Roosevelt.  Turns out that Hershey Martin was a musician and bandleader, later becoming a theatrical agent at the William Morris Agency!  I also recently found Eleanor Martin's senior class photo (1963) from Beverly High (left).  Hah!  I love Beverly Hills and the innernets.  

Mrs. Roosevelt's official White House portrait with knitting hands!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

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At 9:14 AM PDT, Blogger Patricia said...

What a delightful post!! Haven't watched these yet, but they are on my DVR.

At 7:56 PM PST, Blogger Don Reed said...

Hi, there. I'm here after reading page 173 of Sheila Weller's challenging and interesting (in that order) "Dancing At Ciro's." If you ever happen to run across an inexpensive copy, do give it a try. Thanks.

Don Reed


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