EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 16, 2009

Eleanor Roosevelt and the weight of her world


"No one," she said, "at all close to people in public life today can fail to realize that we are all of us facing extremely critical times.

"No woman entering the White House, if she accepts the fact that it belongs to the people and therefore must be representative of whatever conditions the people are facing, can light-heartedly take up her residence here.

"One has a feeling of going in blindly, because we're in a tremendous stream, and none of us knows where we're going to land.

"The important thing, it seems to me, is our attitude toward whatever may happen. It must be willingness to accept and share with others whatever may come and to meet the future courageously, with a cheerful spirit.

"We women have to go about our daily task of home making, no matter what may happen, and we needn't feel that ours is an unimportant part, for our courage and our willingness to sacrifice may well be the spring-board from which recovery may come."

The woman of many interests who became today by virtue of her husband's position the nation's "first lady" will be herself chiefly occupied the next few weeks, she said today, with housekeeping.

"There will be, of course, all the settling to do," she said.

"And there will be necessary some figuring to cut down expenses at least 25 per cent in accordance with my husband's policy.

"I am going to try out a few things which I think may be interesting. I want to try out here some of these new foods that Flora Rose and the others are developing at Cornell university."

"Another thing I want to do because I think it will be interesting," Mrs. Roosevelt added, "is to develop a number of entirely American menus that can be served at the White House.

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