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ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AT THE 1960 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT AT THE 1960 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Former 1st Lady favors Stevenson-Kennedy ticket

 

Los Angeles, California (JFK+50) While Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts was the 1st choice of the majority of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention meeting here in Los Angeles this week, Adlai Stevenson of Illinois was the preference of former 1st Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.


Mrs. Roosevelt, who served as 1st Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, gave a seconding speech at the convention in behalf of Governor Stevenson.

 

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT RECALLS ROLE AT THE 1960 CONVENTION

In her memoirs, “The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt”, the former 1st Lady recalls her reluctant participation in the 1960 Democratic National Convention.

 

Mrs. Roosevelt writes that following her involvement in the failed 1956 campaign, she was “determined to never again take part in a political campaign.”

 

But those intentions changed in 1960 because of the attempt by the New York State party bosses to replace “the voice of the voters” with their own “boss rule.”

 

Eleanor Roosevelt writes:

 

“Democracy depends upon the participation of the people in their government.  It cannot survive by boss rule.”

 

And as far as the national nominees of the Democratic Party in 1960, Mrs. Roosevelt writes that she believed the best choice would have been a STEVENSON-KENNEDY ticket.

 

She does acknowledge that JFK would have his chance at the Presidency at a later time.

 

Concerning the convention itself, Eleanor Roosevelt says that “as they now function (the party conventions) are obsolete.”*

 

*Mrs. Roosevelt eventually endorsed JFK for President & was appointed by President Kennedy to chair the Commission on the Status of Women in 1961.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt & JFK at Val Kill, 1961

 

Val Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s home after FDR’s death, is located 2 miles east of the Roosevelt family home at Hyde Park, New York.

 

FDR had encouraged Eleanor to use the 180 acre estate to develop a place to work with rural workers & women as a part of his New Deal program.  

 

She named it Val Kill, which means waterfall-stream, from the Dutch language.

 

Today Val Kill is a National Historic Site.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park, New York, Photo by Rolf Muller, 2007

 

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