It Is Eleanor Roosevelt’s Birthday And We Have Discovered The Best Website Ever


So write a thing about Eleanor Roosevelt, Rebecca said, on account of how it is her birthday. We don’t really know anything about Eleanor Roosevelt, we said, except that she is cool. Write it anyway, said Rebecca.

Which is how we ended up at the world’s greatest website, the National First Ladies Library.

You guys, have you seen this thing?? It is like the k-hole of websites. We may never emerge. OK, let’s get the cool important Eleanor stuff out of the way. She did not want to be a debutante but figured if she had to hang with those people, she might as well scoop them all up and make them do some good, which is how she ended up working at one of the Settlement Houses because she was a real-deal progressive. She volunteered during World War I and bullied the armed services and the president into looking into how terrible conditions were for veterans coming home. Stop a moment and picture Laura Bush doing that, kids. She worked with trade unions for 30 years. Thirty fucking years. Don’t even get us started on the League of Women Voters because that shit was the bomb.

She was baller about race issues before white people were baller about race issues, and had Marian Anderson perform at the White House when everyone else was busy being fucking racist and not having her perform in DC.

It Is Eleanor Roosevelt's Birthday And We Have Discovered The Best Website Ever

OK we are going to run out of time and space so let’s do this like a speed round:

  • WPA
  • United Nations
  • Red Cross
  • Union member (newspaper guild, represent!)
  • Radio host
  • Author
  • Teacher

For serious, if it was a good and true thing, Eleanor Roosevelt did it for 40 years running. That’s all very well and good, but the most important thing we learned from the First Ladies website, which is about to eat our Friday night and yours, is that she was tall. Quite tall!

Five feet, eleven inches in height; dark blonde hair, blue eyes

*among those First Ladies whose physical height is known, Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Obama are believed to be the tallest, both chronicled as being five feet, eleven inches

Take that, 5-foot-6-inch Laura Bush. Democrat women grow strong and proud and progressive and really fucking tall.

Now, if you’ll forgive us, we’re off to spend the evening looking up the height of each first lady and making a chart. We’d try to go visit the Library, but it is of course shut down right now in honor of a GOP temper tantrum. Happy Friday!

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  • Jus_Wonderin

    Sad eyes…………….

    • drbloor

      You’d have sad eyes, too, if you knew your successors were going to include the likes of Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan, Cruella Bush and Stepford Bush.

  • doktorzoom

    Jimmy Carter used to dress up as Eleanor Roosevelt.

    • Lucine

      Jimmy Carter WISHES he could pull off the Eleanor Roosevelt look.

    • coozledad

      All the guys on submarines have to do that at some stage in their careers. Zumwalt was strictly Rita Hayworth.

  • Guest

    To be fair, Wonkette has been the k-hole of websites for me for at least 2 years.

    • Buddha Stalin

      Yeah what exactly does it mean to be a k-hole?

      • Vitamin K effect, per the Wiki. (I hadn’t heard it either.)

      • DerekPearce

        Er, um, … ketamine that would be…

  • Vecchiojohn

    And another reason to treasure the memory of the Big E is that she made more right wing heads explode than Hillary Clinton.

  • fiizok

    She was instrumental in shaping FDR’s politics. Long before he became President, she pretty much forced Franklin to visit some local slums so that he would see firsthand what appalling conditions the poor were forced to live in. It was an experience he was unprepared for, and one he never forgot.

  • Deleted

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  • buttercup8888

    She used to write a column in Ladies Home Journal I think called “If You Ask Me.” My mother used to sneer and say,” well who asked you?” Give me a break–it was 1950’s Wisconsin (I am old)–I didn’t even know there were two political parties until I got to UW. Happy Birthday Eleanor and thanks for the fete, Lisa.

  • shastakoala

    She’s lovely and wearing pearls.

  • docterry6973

    Check out the link to the First Ladies web site. I had no idea she was so active in so many controversial progressive causes. She has to be one of the greatest Americans in our history.

  • (((JustPixelz)))

    People make fun of her falsetto-ish voice. But she spoke in a time when loudspeakers were the exception; she had to make her voice carry through the crowd. I suppose that makes you sound falsetto-ish. In a related way, no one knows what Abraham Lincoln sounded like, but the 12,000 delegates at the Republican Convention in 1860 heard him speak. Ya gotta have some pretty big pipes to pull that off.

  • coozledad

    She and Franklin had Martha Gellhorn over for dinner at the White House, and they all got drunk and talked shit about Ernest Hemmingway. Baller..

  • “Baller” is now an adjective?

    • rebecca


      • O.K. Just checking. (Short for ballsier? More bally?) [whimpers to self] Gawd, I really am “old.”

        • ChuckieJesus

          Fellow old: Where someone usedta say “bitchen”, it’s now “baller”. HTH.

  • Nixon, etc.

    PSA #1: You guys are all watching C-SPAN’s First Ladies series, right? It’s edumakashunal, but “totes” (did I do that right?) fascinating. This Monday nacht: Missus Hoover.PSA#2: You guys all know about the real internet k-hole, right? NSFW: It’s just totes fascinating. The More You Know!(cross-posted to wonkitz)

    • BMW

      *clicks on 2nd link*What…the…fuck…

  • MilwaukeeKent

    Eleanor Roosevelt was the tops, the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, and a true progressive who could advance policy.Also props to the Newspaper Guild — a former employer in a not-rare act of extraordinary cheapness took advantage of an every-7-years calendar loophole to cheat me and 3 dozen other employees out of holiday pay, for Christmas no less, and the union paid us the difference.

  • Squirrel_t_robot

    I like me a tall FLOTUS. Think: Amazon.Another thing folks don’t know about Eleanor, besides completely busting her second cousin and only husband FDR’s balls about cheating on her after she birthed five of his spawn, is she died of the tuberculosis she suffered from for 40 years.Yes, Eleanor Roosevelt not only did all she did as a fierce progressive, she did it with tuberculosis. Seems she was not one to wait around for death to call, she simply got on with living.

    • EmmettGrogan

      My mother-in-law met her when Ms. Roosevelt did a tour of military hospitals to talk with the soldiers during WW2. My MIL was head nurse at Quantico in those days. She said the 2 things most people didn’t know about her was that she was quite tall and also had the most spectacular, brilliant blue eyes she had ever seen. She said she was quite an imposing figure and went around and spoke to each and every soldier. How many First Ladies have done that?

  • Squirrel_t_robot

    Oh and that thing about Eleanor having lady lesbian sex maybe?If true, good for her — people say it like somehow it was a bad thing, and any of their business, which it isn’t.

  • She also championed the Greenbelt communities (Greenbelt MD, Greendale, WI, Greenhills, OH), which were experimental towns with lots of super-socialistic little elements — at first, all of the businesses weren’t just locally owned, they were all cooperatively owned.

  • Wilson P. Dizard

    Hello Lisa: I was pleased to see your homage to Mrs. Roosevelt. Speaking personally, she did a lot for me, by introducing my parents to each other.. The Roosevelts held annual week-long training institutes for college students at their family’s country retreat on Campobello Island, New Brunswick. My parents met. there during the summer, 1942 session, which featured lectures on domestic & world affairs led by professors from Columbia U. and other colleges as well as other writers & intellectuals. My parents married (when my father got a three-day pass from his Army unit) in 1944. As for Mrs. Roosevelt’s other legacies to our country, you can read some of them in her “My Day” columns written and syndicated in newspapers nationwide. Those essays, from 1936 to 1962, are available online via the George Washington University’s “My Day” project. Mrs. Roosevelt’s straightforward style, as well as her respect and empathy for others, make the essays fresh and compelling. Some of the issues she writes about, such as the self-serving lies told by promoters of the misnamed “right-to-work” laws that deface the statute books of about two dozen states, are just as valid today as they were 60 years ago and longer. I hope you enjoy reading them. Best, Wilson

  • lofty1

    Democratic women…not Democrat women. Carry on.