Selected Web Resources
- WHITE HOUSE OVERVIEW: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/first-families/anna-eleanor-roosevelt/
- FDR LIBRARY OVERVIEW: https://www.fdrlibrary.org/er-biography
- BRITANNICA BIOGRAPHY: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Eleanor-Roosevelt
- NATIONAL PARK OVERVIEW: https://www.nps.gov/people/eleanor-roosevelt.htm
- HISTORY CHANNEL OVERVIEW: https://www.history.com/topics/first-ladies/eleanor-roosevelt
- EXTENDED BIOGRAPHY: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Roosevelt
- LORENA HICKOK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorena_Hickok
- ABC (AUSTRALIA) HICKOK: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-28/eleanor-roosevelt-lorena-hickok-white-houses-love-affair/9918614
- NY TIMES (HICKOK): https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/books/review/eleanor-and-hick-susan-quinn.html
- EARL MILLER: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Miller_(bodyguard)
- SARA ROOSEVELT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Roosevelt
- BIOGRAPHY (BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Krqx9mh_Jug&t=2s
- OVERVIEW (HISTORY CHANNEL): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMBRgDErlVw
- OVERVIEW (CBS SUNDAY MORNINGS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHcU2ixfLH4
- ER AT UN 1946 (Pathe News): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwKWM7zkveU&t=37s
- ER AT UN (United Nations Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp-3CQ6ZD4k
- ER AND LORENA HICKOK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6UH8l6zblc
- ER AND AMELIA EARHART: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1gXqXRbmCI
Letters Between Eleanor Roosevelt & Lorena Hickok
March 7, 1933ER to Hick... Hick darling, All day I've thought of you & another birthday I will be with you, & yet tonite you sounded so far away & formal. Oh! I want to put my arms around you. I ache to hold you close. Your ring is a great comfort to me. I look at it and think she does love me, or I wouldn't be wearing it. ER to Hick [Date not provided]I wish I could lie down beside you tonight & take you in my arms. [Hick writing to ER [Date not provided]Only eight more days . . . Funny how even the dearest face will fade away in time. Most clearly I remember your eyes, with a kind of teasing smile in them, and the feeling of that soft spot just north-east of the corner of your mouth against my lips. . . .
Miller was homeless by the age of 12 and held a variety of jobs throughout his life including, stuntman, prison warden, boxer and acrobat. After FDR was elected president in 1932, he appointed Miller director of personnel for New York state's Department of Correction. In World War II, Miller served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy and became the director of physical training at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
Miller was completely devoted to Eleanor. Handsome and athletic, he gave her riding lessons (and later bought her a chestnut mare named Dot), coached her in tennis and swimming, taught her to shoot a pistol, and generally built her confidence. Eleanor came to rely on Miller, perhaps even held romantic feelings for him. Her son James described the relationship as possibly "the one real romance in mother's life outside of marriage." She always kept a room for him wherever she lived. Numerous framed photos of Miller decorated the rooms of Val-Kill and Eleanor's New York City apartment.
Miller was married three times and had two children—Eleanor and Earl Jr. He died on May 2, 1973 in Hollywood, Florida.
Eleanor Roosevelt and the Jews
In June of 1940, Eleanor formed a committee to coordinate rescue efforts for children who were refugees and/or victims of the War. She called a meeting at her New York residence with representatives of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the German-Jewish Children’s Aid, and other organizations to form the US Committee for the Care of European Children (USCOM). Chicago department store magnate and philanthropist Marshall Field III was asked to chair the committee and oversee fundraising, but the driving force behind its work was Eleanor.
The first task of the committee was to figure out how, logistically, the children could enter the United States outside of the stringent immigration quotas that were put in place after World War I. Eleanor and the other members of USCOM recognized that the fastest way to admit refugee children to the United States was on temporary visitor visas, which could be issued as long as the children planned to return home when it was safe again, and exempted the children from needing individual financial affidavits. Since the children were all under the age of fourteen, the State Department could not reasonably claim that any of them could be spies or saboteurs.
Between June and September 1940, when conditions in occupied Europe and the dangers of crossing the Atlantic caused the committee to suspend its evacuation efforts from Great Britain, just over 800 children were rescued and resettled in American homes.
With Eleanor's continued support, USCOM continued their work, refocusing from Great Britain to western Europe, particularly on children in Vichy France. The AFSC chose children, both Jewish and non-Jewish, from children's homes and refugee camps in southern France for transfer to the United States. By 1943, the committee had succeeded in rescuing several hundred Jewish children from western Europe.
2. SS Quanza and Eleanor Roosevelt
In August 1940, the SS Quanza, a ship bound for Mexico with over 300 passengers on board, mostly refugees fleeing Europe, arrived in New York. Nearly 200 passengers with US visas were permitted to land. When the ship arrived in Veracruz, Mexican officials denied entry to 85 of the Quanza’s passengers, claiming their paperwork was invalid. These passengers desperately began contacting friends in the United States, who in turn contacted leaders of Jewish organizations, government officials—and Eleanor Roosevelt—for help.
The passengers sent a telegram to Eleanor directly, signed by the “Women Passengers,” and it is likely that Eleanor asked the President to assist the refugees on the Quanza. A representative of Roosevelt’s President's Advisory Committee on Refugees interviewed the passengers. Based on his recommendations, the State Department allowed five children to land using the USCOM procedures, liberally interpreted the qualifications for a “non-quota” immigration visa for 41 passengers, and granted the remainder temporary transit visas. All of the passengers were permitted to disembark in Norfolk, VA.
3. Fort Ontario
In June 1944, President Roosevelt announced his plan to create an emergency refugee shelter at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York. Under this plan, 982 refugees from eighteen different countries were selected and transported from Italy to upstate New York. Roosevelt circumvented the rigid immigration quotas by identifying these refugees as his “guests,” a status that gave them no legal standing and required their return to Europe once conditions permitted their repatriation. In September 1944, Eleanor made a well-publicized visit to the camp and as she did so often to rally support for her husband's policies, wrote about her visit in “My Day.” The refugees who did not wish to return to Europe after the war were admitted to the United States in 1946.