Eleanor Roosevelt

A Woman of Substance “Eleanor Roosevelt”
December 8, 2008, 6:21 pm
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                             A Woman of Substance

                                “Eleanor Roosevelt”

Eleanor Roosevelt throughout her lifetime struggled with many disappointments, controversies, and betrayals from the people she loved most. Nevertheless, Eleanor Roosevelt rose above all her trials and tribulations and is one of the 20th century’s most influential and admired women. My wish is through my blog students from all cultures and backgrounds will come to appreciate the significance of Eleanor’s accomplishments in the name of equality for women, minorities, and  the less fortunate from all over the world.     

My story of Eleanor is clearly stated throughout my blog in the collection of primary sources, artifacts, and documents with document based questions (DBQ’s). Also, I hope the activities will inspire discussion, further readings, and research into this remarkable woman. I’m hopeful that the trail I have blazed from the beginning of my blog will capture the essence that is Eleanor, a woman who is a role model for all young girls to aspire and for all young men to admire.    

In conclusion, the purpose for my blog is to have students relate, connect, and engage with  the woman who I feel has done so much for mankind. Eleanor is a woman of substance, a woman for all seasons, and a woman to emulate.           


Analzyzing an Artifact (statue)
December 8, 2008, 4:48 pm
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Eleanor Roosevelt Monument


72nd Street & Riverside Drive


Have students read article as a class and have student’s list main points in the article on the board, then answer DBQ’s. 

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the niece of one president and the wife of another, was born in New York City on October 11, 1884. Orphaned at the age of 10, Eleanor lived with her maternal grandmother until she was sent to England at age 15 to attend school. Returning to New York in 1903 for her debut, Eleanor met and became engaged to her distant cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1905, they married. After her husband was stricken with polio in the 1920’s, Eleanor became active in the New York State Democratic Party. During Franklin Roosevelt’s term as President of the United States, she greatly expanded the role of the First Lady, holding press conferences, giving lectures and radio interviews, traveling throughout the country and expressing her opinions in a daily syndicated newspaper column entitled My Day. After her husband’s death, she became a great advocate for the United Nations. Until her own death on November 7, 1962, she remained an active teacher, writer and an advocate for women, minorities, young people, labor and the poor.

Created by noted artist Penelope Jencks, the eight-foot statue of Eleanor Roosevelt is constructed of bronze and stone and is located inside Riverside Park at West 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. This monument is the first public statue of a president’s wife in the nation and only the second public statue of an American woman in New York City. Funding for the $1.14 million Eleanor Roosevelt Monument project was provided by the New York Department of Transportation, the City of New York, the State of New York, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument Fund, which has established an endowment for the ongoing maintenance of the sculpture.

The planning for the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument began in 1986. At the dedication ceremony on October 5, 1996, her grandson, Franklin D. Roosevelt III, and 35 other members of his family were in attendance. Several politicians also attended the ceremony, including then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, a great admirer of Mrs. Roosevelt, gave the keynote address.


1. Who is the statue of, where is it located, what season, what time of day?

2. What is she thinking and what is her expression?

3. What do you know about her?

4. What question would you like to ask of her and why?

5.What more would you like to know?

6. What title would you name the statue and why?



Analyzing a Family Tree
December 8, 2008, 4:41 pm
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Analyzing a Family Tree



1. What is a family tree and why may it be  important?

2. List 3 to 5 things that you know about a family tree?

3. Who’s family tree is this and what do you know about this family?

4. After studying the document what have you learned and what more do you want to learn about this family?

5. Does  this family tree help you  think about the ancestry of your family and why?

6. What have you learned about yourself from studying this docment?


ACTIVITY (three choices):

1.  Have students discuss their family tree with their family and write an essay including at least three generations of family members.

2.  Have students make a family tree of their family or someone else in history.

3.  Have students make a collage of pictures from home, internet, or magazines that represent a family history with captions.    


Analyzing a Timeline
December 8, 2008, 4:31 pm
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Analyzing a Timeline


As a class read the background knowledge. Then break into groups of 7 and analyze the timeline that has been assigned to your group answering the DBQ’s at the end of the documents. Then, in your group make a timeline of what you feel are the most significant things that happened in Eleanor’s life and place on a timeline chart. Research timeline activities on the internet as a group and choose one that you feel is most appropriate for your activity.

Background knowledge: Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884. Her parents were Elliott Roosevelt and Anna Hall Roosevelt, descendants of prominent Dutch ancestry. She was a niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. Eleanor’s parents both died when she was very young, her mother when she was eight and her father when she was ten. She then lived with her grandmother, a strict disciplinarian, until she was fifteen. At this time she was sent to a boarding school in Europe. Eleanor was a bit of a backwards girl, she was quite serious and full of fears and overly solemn for her young age. However, her schooling in Europe was like a new beginning for her. Here her personality began to show itself, she was “shocked” into thinking. Eleanor discovered the courage to voice her thoughts and opinions, traits that would be essential to her future accomplishments.

On March 17, 1905 Eleanor was married to Franklin Roosevelt, her fifth cousin once removed. This came following three years of courtship. Over the next ten years the Roosevelts had six children: one girl, and five boys, one of whom they lost in infancy to the flu.

Throughout the Roosevelts married life, Franklin was very involved in politics. He was in the New York Senate, a member of the Navy Department and President of the United States for four terms. Eleanor was also very influential in politics. She became involved in the League of Women Voters in 1920, and the Women’s Trade Union League. In the League of Women Voters she played an important role in drafting bills and making policies.

In the summer of 1921 Franklin was stricken with poliomyelitis (polio). He was paralyzed from the waist down and would never walk without the aid of crutches or people again. Eleanor then began to work politically in his behalf. She joined the women’s division of the New York State Democratic Party in 1924 and helped set up local Democratic clubs for women. She became a popular speaker and lecturer, overcoming her fear of public speaking. Along with her work in politics she also taught classes in literature, drama, and American history.

Eleanor was very important to the political success of her husband. Due to his illness, he used Eleanor many times as his “eyes and ears.” He would send her on tours and inspections and then have her report back to him about the conditions. She became known as a first lady who cared about people and their problems. Franklin became President of the United States in 1932, during the Great Depression, and Eleanor continued to assist him and became very influential in his administration. She visited all over the country reporting on the people. She became a powerful advocate for the weak and disadvantaged in America. She was very outspoken in her quest for racial equality and in one famous incident resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1939 when the black singer Marian Anderson was denied the use of their facilities.

She was also instrumental in the creation of the National Youth Administration in 1934 which helped high school and college students stay in school. During World War II she visited American soldiers around the world, and promoted desegregation of the armed forces. She also acted as a good will ambassador and visited areas such as England, Australia, and the South Pacific Islands during 1943.

Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945 but Eleanor tried not to let this slow her down. If anything, she stayed busier in hopes of dealing with her loneliness. Harry Truman, the next president, had Eleanor serve as an American delegate at the first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, she served for another seven years after this. She chaired the commission that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was passed on December 10, 1948.

Throughout the remainder of her life, Eleanor was involved in politics and bettering people’s lives. She gave lectures, broadcasts, and wrote several articles, always fighting for the underdog. She died on November 7, 1962 after a severe stroke. Eleanor Roosevelt was a compassionate, loving, and motivated woman who spent her life serving the people of the world. She lived her life by this philosophy, do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Life was meant to be lived and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

Timeline of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life from 1884-1910

Document 1



October 11: Eleanor Roosevelt is born in New York City.


Elliott Roosevelt, Eleanor’s father, is confined to a mental asylum; Eleanor’s mother, Anna Hall Roosevelt, dies of diphtheria.


August 13: Elliot Roosevelt dies of alcoholism.


Eleanor enrolls at Allenswood School in England.


President McKinley is assassinated six months after his second inauguration; Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, Eleanor’s uncle, assumes the presidency.


Eleanor leaves Allenswood and makes her society debut at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.


Eleanor becomes engaged to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her fifth cousin once removed. She enrolls in the Junior League of New York where she teaches calisthenics and dancing to immigrants. She joins the Consumers’ League and investigates working conditions in the garment districts.


March 17: Eleanor marries Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York.


May 3: Eleanor gives birth to her first child, Anna.


December 23: Eleanor gives birth to her second child, James.


March 18: Eleanor gives birth to her third child, Franklin, Jr. He dies of influenza soon after.


September 23: Eleanor has her fourth child, Elliott.

Timeline of Eleanor Roosvelt’s life from 1912-1936

Document 2


Eleanor attends her first Democratic Party Convention.


FDR becomes Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Eleanor hires Lucy Mercer as her social secretary.


August 17: Eleanor gives birth to her fifth child, Franklin Jr.

World War I breaks out in Europe.


March 17: Eleanor gives birth to John, her sixth and last child.


The United States enters World War I.


Eleanor learns of the affair between her husband and Lucy Mercer.

The Treaty of Versailles is ratified; The House of Representatives passes the amendment to grant women suffrage.


Eleanor volunteers at St. Elizabeth Hospital to visit World War I veterans; She volunteers at the International Congress of Working Women in Washington.

Congress passes the Eighteenth Amendment declaring Prohibition.


Eleanor travels with Franklin on his campaign trail for the vice presidency; She becomes friends with Louis Howe; She joins the League of Women Voters.

Congress passes the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote.


Franklin becomes paralyzed from polio.


Eleanor becomes a member of the Women’s Trade Union League; She joins the Women’s Division of the Democratic State Committee and meets Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook.


Congress passes Immigration Acts designed to stem the flow of Southern and Eastern European immigrants into the United States; The Kellogg-Briand Pact (Pact of Paris) which “outlaws war” passes Congress with overwhelming support.


Franklin builds Val-Kill Estate for Eleanor in Hyde Park; Eleanor founds the Val-Kill furniture factory along with Dickerman and Cook.


Eleanor, Dickerman and Cook purchase Todhunter School, a girls seminary in New York, where Eleanor teaches history and government.


Eleanor meets Mary McLeod Bethune, president of Bethune-Cookman college


The Democratic National Committee appoints Eleanor director of Bureau of Women’s Activities; FDR is elected as governor of New York.

President Herbert Hoover declares that the United States is nearer than ever to a “final triumph over poverty.”


October 24: The New York Stock Exchange crashes.


Veterans march to the White House as the “Bonus Army”; Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected president of the United States.


March 6: Eleanor becomes the first wife of a president to hold all-female press conferences; She assists with the Arthurdale homestead project for coal miners in West Virginia.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt implements the New Deal.

The Dust-Bowl devastates the Midwest.


Eleanor assists with the formation of the National Youth Administration; She coordinates meeting between FDR and NAACP leader Walter White to discuss anti-lynching legislation.


Eleanor coordinates a meeting with FDR, James Farley, head of the Democratic National Committee, and Molly Dewson, head of the Women’s Division of the DNC, to discuss the role of women in political elections; She begins publishing the syndicated column, “My Day.”

Timeline of Eleanor Roosevelt’s live from 1939-1962

Document 3


Eleanor defies segregation laws when she sits between whites and blacks at the Southern Conference for Human Welfare in Birmingham, Alabama; She arranges for Marian Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday.

Hitler invades Poland and war breaks out in Europe.


July 17: Eleanor makes an impromptu speech at the Democratic National Convention which helps FDR to win an unprecedented third term in office.


December 7: Japan bombs Pearl Harbor and the U.S. enters the war in Europe.


Eleanor tours the South Pacific to boost the soldiers’ morale.

The Detroit Race Riot occurs as a result of mounting tensions between black and white residents of the city.


Eleanor influences the Army Nurse Corps to open its membership to black women; She joins the NAACP board of directors.

April 12: Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies while convalescing in Warm Springs, Georgia.

September 2: Japan surrenders to the Allies, World War II ends.


Eleanor is elected as head of the United Nations Human Rights Commission; She begins to draft the Declaration of Human Rights; She initiates the creation of Americans for Democratic Action, a group which focuses on domestic social reform and resistance against Russia and the developing Cold War.


Eleanor speaks on “The Struggles for the Rights of Man” at the Sorbonne during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in Paris; She threatens her resignation from the UN if Truman does not recognize the newly formed state of Israel; She joins her daughter, Anna, for a radio discussion program on ABC.

December 10: The Human Rights Declaration is passed by the United Nations.


Eleanor joins her son, Elliott, for a television and radio show on NBC.


Eleanor resigns from the United Nations; She campaigns for Adlai Stevenson for the presidency.


The Women’s Division of the Democratic National Committee is abolished and its members are integrated into the existing Democratic party structure.


The Brown v. Board of Education decision outlaws segregation in public schools.


Eleanor visits the Soviet Union as a representative of the New York Post and meets Nikita Khrushchev.

The Civil Rights Act is passed by Congress.


Eleanor speaks at a civil rights workshop at Highlander Folk School in Tennessee despite threats from the Ku Klux Klan.


Eleanor supports John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.


Kennedy re-appoints Eleanor to the United Nations and appoints her as chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.


Eleanor spearheads an ad hoc Commission of Inquiry into the Administration of Justice in the Freedom Struggle; She monitors and reports on the efforts and progress of the fight for civil rights in the United States.

November 7: Eleanor dies at the age of seventy-eight of tuberculosis.


1.   Who are the people in the timeline?

2.   What do you think was important to the people of that time?

3.   What historic events were happening at that time?

4.   What does the timeline reveal about the events of that time?

5.   Does this timeline tell a history of a family?

6.   What would be an appropriate title for your timeline?






Analyzing a Photograph “Family Portrait”
December 8, 2008, 4:11 pm
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          Analyzing a Photograph



 Family Portrait




Have students analyze the photograph and answer DBQ’s  as a class. Then, have students divide into groups of three to four students to do research on a family of historical significance and summarize the importance of their contribution in history for jig saw activity.


1. Who are the people in the photograph?

2. What do you know about them and are they important to you today and why?

3.Do they appear to be happy and why? Do you know otherwise and why?

4.Do the people in the phograph appear to be like your family or any other family you know?

5.What would you ask the children in the photograph and why? 

6. What would you call this photograph and why?






Analyizng a Photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt
December 8, 2008, 3:54 pm
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Analyizng a Photograph


1934                  AP

Eleanor Roosevelt America’s most influential First Lady blazed paths for women and led the battle for social justice everywhere.

Eleanor Roosevelt once remarked of the first lady’s job, “The wives, of course, have certain official obligations, but they are certainly not responsible for their husband’s policies. And they do not have to feel that sense of obligation at every point to uphold the ideas of the man of the family.”


1. Who is this person?

2. What year was this picture taken, season, and who took the picture?

3. What position did this person hold in politics, if any? Was she a reformer? What is a reformer?

4. What questions would you ask her if she were alive today?

5.  Should gender affect this person’s position?

6. Do you think a woman is capable of being president? Why or why not?


Have students research Eleanor Roosevelt and have them answer the following questions individually:

1.Ask students what they think the responsibilities of the first lady (or first spouse) should be?

2. Should gender affect this person’s assignments?

3.Was she political? Was she instrumental in helping her husband’s career?

4.Did she influence policy, and if so, how?




Analyzing an Article “How to Interest Women to Vote”
December 8, 2008, 3:43 pm
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Analyzing an Article

Eleanor Roosevelt and Women’s Rights

Like most women who became leaders of the women’s movement, Eleanor Roosevelt became aware of the barriers women faced while working with other women on other social justice issues. Eleanor’s commitment to women’s full recognition by and participation in American politics and business was intense and she worked with women’s groups around the nation to build their political base. The passage of the 19th Amendment was the most difficult problem to face women because as FDR was quoted “How are we to interest the women of the state in voting and get them to change from their uninterested and apathetic attitude to an attitude of intelligent and active interest in their Government?”

***Background knowledge, read the following articles as a class. Then, have students break into groups of five and read the article “How to Interest Women to Vote” and answer the DQB’s that follow.



The Passage of the 19th Amendment, 1919-1920 Articles from The New York Times


The following document comprises a series of articles from the New York Times detailing the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in Congress and the battle to get the Amendment ratified by the states. The Amendment was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 19, 1920.

The New York Times 


Thursday, June 5, 1919

Suffrage Wins in Senate; Now Goes to States

Constitutional Amendment Is Passed, 56 to 25, or Two More Than Two-thirds

Women May Vote In 1920

Leaders Start Fight to Get Ratification by Three-fourths of States in Time

Debate Precedes Vote

Wadsworth Explains His Attitude In Opposition – Resolution Signed with Ceremony


WASHINGTON, June 4 – After a long and persistent fight advocates of woman suffrage won a victory in the Senate today when that body, by a vote of 56 to 25, adopted the Susan Anthony amendment to the Constitution. The suffrage supporters had two more than the necessary two-thirds vote of Senators present. Had all the Senators known to be in favor of suffrage been present the amendment would have had 66 votes, or two more than a two-thirds vote of the entire Senate.

The amendment, having already been passed by the House, where the vote was 304 to 89, now goes to the States for ratification, where it will be passed upon in the form in which it has been adopted by Congress, as follows:

“Article-, Section 1. – The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

“Section 2. – Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the provisions of this article.”

Leaders of the National Woman’s Party announced tonight that they would at once embark upon a campaign to obtain ratification of the amendment by the necessary three-fourths of the States so that women might have the vote in the next Presidential election. To achieve this ratification it will be necessary to hold special sessions of some Legislatures which otherwise would not convene until after the Presidential election in 1920. Miss Alice Paul, Chairman of the Woman’s Party, predicted that the campaign for ratification would succeed and that women would vote for the next President.

Suffragists thronged the Senate galleries in anticipation of the final vote, and when the outcome was announced by President Pro Tem. Cummins they broke into deafening applause. For two minutes the demonstration went on, Senator Cummins making no effort to check it.

The Vote in Detail.

The roll call on the amendment follows:


Republicans – 36.

Capper, Cummins, Curtis, Edge, Elkins, Fall, Fernald, France, Frelinghuysen, Gronna, Hale, Harding, Johnson, (Cal.,) Jones, (Wash.,) Kellogg, Kenyon, Kayes, La Follette, Lenroot, McCormick, McCumber, McNaty, Nelson, New, Newberry, Norris, Page, Phipps, Poindexter, Sherman, Smoot, Spencer, Sterling, Sutherland, Warren, Watson.

Democrats – 20.

Ashurst, Chamberlain, Culberson, Harris, Henderson, Jones, (N. M.,) Kenrick, Kirby, McKellar, Myers, Nugent, Phelan, Pittman, Ransdell, Shepard, Smith, (Ariz.,) Stanley, Thomas, Walsh, (Mass.,) Walsh, (Mon.)


Republicans – 8.

Borah, Brandegee, Dillingham, Knox, Lodge, McLean, Moses, Wadsworth.

Democrats – 17.

Bankhead, Beckham, Dial, Fletcher, Gay, Harrison, Hitchcock, Overman, Reed, Simmons, Smith, (Md.,) Smith, (S. C.,) Swanson, Trammell, Underwood, Williams, Wolcott.


Ball and King, for, with Shields, against: Calder and Townsend, for, with Penrose, against; Gerry and Johnson of South Dakota, for, with Martin, against; Gore and Colt, for, with Pomerone, against.

Absent and Not Paired.

Owen, Robinson, and Smith of Georgia. The vote came after four hours of debate, during which Democratic Senators opposed to the amendment filibustered to prevent a roll call until their absent Senators could be protected by pairs. They gave up the effort finally as futile.

Changes Defeated.

Before the final vote was taken Senator Underwood of Alabama, called for a vote on his amendment to submit the suffrage amendment to Constitutional conventions of the various States, instead of to the Legislatures, for ratification. This was defeated by a vote of 45 against to 28 in favor.

Senator Gay of Louisiana offered an amendment proposing enforcement of the suffrage amendment by the States, instead of by the Federal Government. Senator Gay said that from a survey of the States he could predict that thirteen States would not ratify the amendment, enough to block it. His amendment was defeated, 62 to 19.

During debate, Senator Wadsworth of New York, who has been an uncompromising opponent of woman suffrage, explained his attitude as being actuated by the motive of preserving to the States the right to determine the question, each State for itself.

“No vote of mine cast upon this amendment would deprive any of the electors of my State of any privilege they now enjoy,” said the Senator. “I feel so strongly that the people of the several States should be permitted to decide for themselves, that am frank to say that, if this amendment, instead of being drafted to extend woman suffrage all over the country, were drafted to forbid the extension of the franchise to women in the States, I would vote against it. Even though one might be opposed on general principles to the extension of the franchise to women, one cannot logically object to the people of a State settling that question for themselves.

“It seems to me that it is incumbent upon a Senator in considering his attitude on this matter to regard the nation as a whole and to give consideration to the wishes of the people of the various States which have expressed themselves from time to time.”

Overriding State Votes

Senator Wadsworth spoke of the results in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Wisconsin, and other States where woman suffrage was defeated at the polls.

“Now the question is,” he resumed, “whether the people of these States are competent to settle the question for themselves. There is no tremendous emergency facing the country, no revolution or rebellion threatened, which would seem to make it necessary to impose on the people of these States a thing they have said as free citizens they do not require or desire. Is it contrary to the spirit of American institutions that they shall be left free to decide these things for themselves?

“My contention has been, with respect to an amendment to the Constitution, that, if it be placed there, it should command the reverence and devotion of all the people of the country. The discussion here yesterday makes it perfectly apparent that, in part at least, in a certain section of this country, this proposed amendment will be a dead letter. No pretense is made that it will be lived up to in spirit as well as in letter. That same attitude has been manifest in the discussion of the last amendment to the Constitution, ratified last Winter. Today there are thousands of people all over the United States who are attempting to contrive ways by which the prohibition amendment can be evaded. This attitude shows an utter lack of appreciation of the Constitution as a sacred instrument, a lack of realization of the spirit of self-government.”

Senator Smith of South Carolina opposed giving women the right to vote, he said, because to allow it would induce “sectional anarchy.”

Signing of the Resolution

Immediately after its passage by the Senate the Suffrage Amendment was signed. In appreciation of the fifty-year campaign of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the guests were limited to representatives of that association and members of Congress, and the gold pen used was presented to the national association. The women chosen to represent the national association were Mrs. Wood Park of Massachusetts, who for two years has been in charge of the association’s Congressional work: Mrs. Helen Gardener of Washington, D. C.; Mrs. Ida Husted Harper of New York, Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton of Ohio, Miss Mary G. Hay, and Miss Marjorie Shuler of New York.

Besides Speaker Gillett, who signed the bill, the members of the House present were Frank W. Mondell, majority leader; Champ Clark, minority leader and ex-Speaker, under whom the amendment first passed the House, and John E. Raker, Chairman of the committee which won the suffrage victory in the House last year.

The Senators present at the signing of the bill for the Senate were Albert B. Cummins, President Pro Tempore, who signed the measure; James E. Watson, Chairman of the Suffrage Committee; Charles Curtis, Republican whip; A. A. Jones, Chairman of the Suffrage Committee in the last Congress; Thomas J. Walsh of Montana, Morris Sheppard, Joseph E. Ransdell, and Reed Smoot.

To celebrate the passage of the amendment the national association will give a reception next Tuesday evening at its Washington headquarters to the members of the House and Senate who voted for the resolution and to their wives. These will be the only guests.

Miss Paul, Chairman of the National Woman’s Party, issued a statement, in which she said: “There is no doubt of ratification by the States. We enter upon the campaign for special sessions of Legislatures to accomplish this ratification before 1920 in the full assurance that we shall win.”

“The last stage of the fight is to obtain ratification of the amendment so women may vote in the Presidential election in 1920,” said Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the association. “This we are confident will be achieved. The friends of woman suffrage in both parties have carried out their word. In the result we can turn our backs upon the end of a long and arduous struggle, needlessly darkened and embittered by the stubbornness of a few at the expense of the many. ‘Eyes front’, is the watchword as we turn upon the struggle for ratification by the States.”

Prospects of Ratification

Suffrage leaders say quick ratification is assured in twenty-eight States in which women now have full or Presidential suffrage. These States are Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Kansas, Arizona, Oregon, Montant, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Nevada, and Texas.

Legislatures now in session are: Illinois, will adjourn late in June; Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, adjourn end of June or first of July; Wisconsin, Florida, in session until June 1, cannot ratify, because an election must intervene between submission of amendment and ratification.

Legislatures to meet comparatively soon, or with prospects of meeting soon, are: Michigan and Texas, extra sessions called in June; Georgia, to meet this month; Alabama, to meet in July; Louisiana, possibility of extra session before September; New Jersey, movement for extra session soon; Maine, special session in October; Iowa, special session in January; Kentucky, South Carolina, and Mississippi, meet in January; Virginia, meets in February; Maryland, meets during 1920; Ohio, meets in June.

Today’s victory for suffrage ends a fight that really dates from the American Revolution. Women voted under several of the Colonial Governments. During the Revolution women demanded to be included in the Government. Abigail Adams wrote her husband, John Adams, “If women are not represented in this new republic there will be another revolution.” From the time of the Revolution women agitated for suffrage by means of meetings and petitions. In 1848 a woman’s rights convention was held at Seneca Falls, N. Y., arranged by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as the first big suffrage demonstration. From 1848 to the civil war efforts were made to have State laws altered to include women, and Susan B. Anthony became leader of the movement.

For five years after the civil war suffragists tried to secure interpretation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments which would permit them to vote. In 1872 Miss Anthony made a test vote at the polls, was arrested, and refused to pay her fine, but was never jailed. In 1875 Miss Anthony drafted the proposed Federal amendment, the same one that was voted on today. In 1878 the amendment was introduced in the Senate by Senator Sargent of California. It has been voted on in the Senate five times, including today. In 1878 the vote was 16 yeas to 34 nays; in 1914 it failed by 11 votes, in 1918 it failed by two votes, and on Feb. 10, 1919, it failed by one vote. It has been voted on three times in the House. It failed there in 1915 by 78 votes. In 1918 it passed the House with one vote to spare. On May 21, 1919, it passed the House with 14 votes more than the necessary two-thirds.

Foreign countries or divisions of countries in which women have suffrage are: Isle of Man, granted 1881; New Zealand, 1893; Australia, 1902; Finland, 1906; Norway, 1907; Iceland, 1913; Denmark, 1915; Russia, 1917; Canada, Austria, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, and Wales, 1918; Holland and Sweden, 1919.

Copyright 1919 The New York Times

How to Interest Women in Voting  

Women’s Democratic Campaign Manual, 1924. Washington: Democratic Party, National Committee 1924-1928, 1924. 102-3.

The most difficult problem before women leaders today is “How are we to interest the women of the state in voting and get them to change from their uninterested and apathetic attitude to an attitude of intelligent and active interest in their Government?” I sometimes think that women have used their vote a little as a small child uses his first garden. He plants his seeds with great care, but instead of watering them and giving them constant care and attention, he forgets all about them, or else digs them up to see what they are doing. We have treated our vote the same way. We dig it up now and then, but we give it very little care in between times. Of course, no one woman has the right to say what the mass of women want to accomplish with their vote, but I can at least say what I hope the Democratic women wish to achieve.

First: Honest, clean administration in party organizations, coupled with a real desire to have the people understand fundamental issues. The trouble is the means for knowing the truth are very few, and I consider that it is one of the real duties of political parties to state clearly and plainly their belief and the things for which they stand.

Second: We want to see a real use of the primaries so that they will express the will of the people. The real primary used by all the people is a great opportunity for expressing the will of the many. We women are not as yet on a completely equal basis in the party organizations, therefore, we, above all, should realize the opportunity afforded to us in the primaries, where we can see that the candidates we wish are placed on the ballot by petition, or if that is impossible, we can organize and write in any name that we desire. We cannot expect that our wishes will be respected unless we learn to use the tools which give us strength, and unless we are willing to work for the things we believe in.

Third: We desire to see a greater interest take by our Government in what is best for the mass of the people, as opposed to groups among the people. This does not mean that I am unmindful of the necessity that business must prosper and that capital should have its just reward, but the balance must be kept proportionate among the various activities of our people; those who manufacture, those who till the soil, those who work for science, art, and education all alike must prosper for the better development of the race and the country.

Fourth: From this interest in the mass of our own people, we wish to see a growth in the real interest taken in the welfare of the world as a whole. Without this real interest we will not enter any League or Association of nations, we will take no steps to prevent war, we will remain selfish individuals, each scrambling for our own little place in the sun. Like the old story, “For myself and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more,” forgetting that the great cloud over others may easily spread and cover our little patch of sun as well.


1. Who is the attended audience and why do you believe this?

2. List three things the author said that you think are important and why.

3.Why do you think this document was written and who wrote it?

4. What evidence in the document helps you know why it was written? Quote from the document.

5.List two things the document tells you about life in the United States at the time it was written.

6.Write a question to the author that is left unanswered by the document.



Have students in their group choose a female or male role model who is a reformer in the past or present that has made a difference for women and answer the following questions through research:

1.How has this person made a difference to women and list three reasons to support your answer?

2.Do you believe women should have equal rights, include your reasons for or against?

3. Do you believe women should have careers when they have children at home?  






Analyzing an Article “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
December 8, 2008, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Analyzing an Article

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”




Eleanor Roosevelt regarded the Universal Declaration as her greatest accomplishment.

Eleanor Roosevelt

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Eleanor Roosevelt


            Background Knowledge 

Eleanor Roosevelt: Although she had already won international respect and admiration in her role as First Lady to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt’s work on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would become her greatest legacy. She was without doubt, the most influential member of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights.

Unlike most other members of the Commission, Mrs. Roosevelt was neither a scholar nor an expert on international law. Her enthusiasm for her work at the United Nations was rooted in her humanitarian convictions and her steady faith in human dignity and worth. Although she often joked that she was out of place among so many academics and jurists, her intellect and compassion were great assets, and proved to be of crucial importance in the composition of a direct and straightforward Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

With characteristic modesty, Eleanor Roosevelt considered her position on the Commission to be one of ambassador for the common man and woman: “I used to tell my husband that, if he could make me understand something, it would be clear to all other people in the country, and perhaps that will be my real value on this drafting commission!”

The delegates to the Commission on Human Rights elected Eleanor Roosevelt their Chairperson. Like so many individuals throughout the world, the delegates recognized Eleanor Roosevelt’s unparalleled humanitarian convictions. During her tenure in the White House she had assisted her physically disabled husband in political matters, serving as his “eyes and ears,” traveling throughout the U.S. to gauge the mood of the people. Through this work, she became widely esteemed as a person who both understood and felt the plight of the common man and woman.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assemble (10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). The Guinness Book of Records describes the UDHR as the “Most Translated Document” in the world. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the WWII and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. The International Bill of Hman Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil abd Poticical Rights and its two Optional Protocols. In 1966 the General Assembly adopted the two detailed Covenants, which complete the International Bill of Human Rights; and in 1976, after the Covenants had been ratified by a sufficient number of individual nations, the Bill took on the force of international law.


Have students read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights below in groups breaking the article down into equal amounts per group. Have students answer DBQ’s and write answers on a chart. Remind students they must site in the article and explain their answers in their own words.  Then, have students walk around the class as if they are on a “museum walk” and have students comment on a sticky notes what they thought of the other groups answers.


1.List five interesting points about your section of the article.

2.What have you learned about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and why (need three to five thoughts).

3. What questions do you have about your section and are you surprised that they needed to be addressed?

4.How has the article made a difference in your lives today or not?

5.If you could change one thing in your section of reading for the better of mankind what would it be?

6. What are the most important things you learned from the article and why?

Analyzing a Letter
December 8, 2008, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Analyze a Letter 


As a class read the background knowledge to gain prior knowledge. Then read document and answer DQB’s listed below document. Once completed, have students write about a time they felt they were treated unfairly or a time they witnessed the mistreatment of someone else in a paragraph (7 to 9 sentences).  

“I regret exceedingly that Washington is to be deprived of hearing Marian Anderson, a great artist.”

–Eleanor Roosevelt, telegram to treasurer of Marian

Anderson Citizens Committee, reported in the New York

Times, February 27, 1939

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was First Lady for 12 years. An outspoken advocate of social justice, she became a moral force during the Roosevelt administration, using her position as First Lady to promote social causes.

File copy of letter from Eleanor Roosevelt to president general of the DAR.

In a dramatic and celebrated act of conscience, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) when it barred the world-renowned singer Marian Anderson, an African American, from performing at its Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Following this well-publicized controversy, the federal government invited Anderson to sing at a public recital on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, some 75,000 people came to hear the free recital. The incident put both the artist and the issue of racial discrimination in the national spotlight.
The DAR had adopted a rule excluding African-American artists from the Constitution Hall stage in 1932 following protests over “mixed seating,” blacks and whites seated together, at concerts of black artists. You may read a 2-page letter from Mrs. Henry M. Robert, Jr., president general of the DAR, responding to Mrs. Roosevelt’s resignation.

View of 75,000 people gathered to hear recital by Marian Anderson at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939
(National Archives, Still Picture Branch, 306-NT-965B-4 )

In her autobiography, Anderson recalled the historic concert: “All I knew then was the overwhelming impact of that vast
multitude . . . I had a feeling that a great wave of good will poured out from these people.”
The documents shown here are from the papers of Eleanor Roosevelt, which are at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York. Other National Archives records relating to the 1939 Easter Sunday concert are among the Records of the National Park Service.

View of 75,000 people gathered to hear recital by Marian Anderson at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939
(National Archives, Still Picture Branch, 306-NT-965B-4 )

 Document to the right shown here are from the papers of Eleanor Roosevelt, which are at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York. Other National Archives records relating to the 1939 Easter Sunday concert are among the Records of the National Park Service.










1.What is the document about?

2.Who is the intended audience and what age group?

3.What was important at the time this document was written and what historical events were taking place?

4.What does the document reveal about ethnicity at the time and why?

5.What questions do you have about the document and why?

6.What would you title the document and how would you change the wording? 



Analyzing a Photograph “The Great Depression”
December 8, 2008, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Analyzing a Photograph

The Great Depression



    1.Examine the photograph for 10 seconds. How would you describe the photograph?

2. Divide the photograph into quadrants and study each section individually. What details do you see, such as people, objects, and what activities do you notice?

3. What other information can you gather from the photo? For example, time period, location, season, reason photo was taken.

4. What questions do you have about the photograph? How might you find answers to these questions?

5. How does this picture relate today or not?

6.How does this picture compare to pictures that you see of people today who are poor and why?


An individual writing activity for the students to work on their writing skills. A picture is worth a thousand words. Have students create a story about the picture above in three paragraphs.