Eleanor Roosevelt: Champion For All

These little girls were mugging for their mom’s camera at the feet of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The statue is part of the FDR Memorial in Washington.

No memorial to this President would be complete without a nod to his wife, the longest serving First Lady in US history.

She is widely known for her humanitarian efforts and for her advocacy for women. On a long list of firsts and accomplishments, one that speaks to me is that she was the first First Lady to hold her own press conferences.

Additionally, attendance was restricted to female reporters. This forced newspapers to hire female reporters, opening doors for women to advance in the field of journalism. This marked the creation of the White House Women’s Press Corps.

She advocated for daycares and for wage equity for women. She lobbied to ban employment discrimination based on race and ethnicity. She spoke out against Hitler and against her own husband’s policy of Japanese internment during the war.

That was all when her husband was still living and when she was forced to tone things down because of political restraints. After he passed, Mrs Roosevelt joined the NAACP Board of Directors and was appointed by President Truman to be the only woman delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.

She went on to become the first chairperson of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and she had an influential tenure here.

Mrs Roosevelt came from a background of wealth and influence. Many wealthy people today choose to look out for their own interests, gathering power and growing their own bank balances. Instead, she chose to use her resources for the good of women, minorities and human kind. She was a champion for others right up until her death in 1962.

The world would be a better place if we had more people like her.

Country Mouse

I am a country mouse. I grew up in a rural area where there are no museums and cultural events are a rarity. Our county courthouse is two stories and there are just a handful of buildings that require an elevator. Our idea of diversity here mainly involves Catholics and Amish. Most people look alike and have identical shared values.

It is exciting to visit a place that is tall and populated with people who look and sound different than what I know.

I never fail to look up when surrounded by tall buildings.

People watching on busy streets is a hobby.

I look up, down and all around to see and absorb as much as possible.

Artifacts of famous people like Abe Lincoln’s top hat are treasures to be admired and examined.

Places like Washington D.C. are a dream come true because the streets are lined with famous landmarks and museums filled with treasures.

Fancy art installations stop me dead in my tracks.

Even a subway station is potential subject matter for a photo.

Visiting the final resting place of our first President is moving and a moment of reverence.

Things that are different, things that are historic or noteworthy, things that others pass by without a glance are special to me. I feel sorry for anyone who can walk by a piece of history or a beautiful work of art and not see its value.

I’m a country mouse and I’m not shamed. In fact, I’m glad for that.

FDR Memorial In Pictures

Today I want to share with you some more photos from the FDR Memorial.

I was quite taken with this gentleman who sat alone here for some time. He seemed to be deep in thought. Judging from his age, I’m guessing he would have been a young child during the Great Depression. Being an incurable people watcher, I imagined that FDR was the first President he could remember or that perhaps he lost someone important during the War. Maybe he just remembered the fireside chats.

These life sized sculptures of men in a bread line are so real they are heartbreaking.

And the relief of these wringing hands is equally moving.

FDR was a man of letters whose words – both written and spoken – are a tremendous monument to the man. He respected the Presidency and carried the weight of his office with dignity and gravity.

I am grateful for that.


DC’s Chinatown is vibrant and colorful. This mural is larger than life and stopped me in my tracks. Can you imagine having such talent?

It’s the unexpected stuff, the things that you’ll never find in a travel book that make exploring this big world of ours truly grand.

What was the last thing you saw that really made you stop in admiration? I would love to hear about it.

Capitol Views

Yesterday’s story about Old Glory and the significance of my DC visit got me to thinking about the time we spent at the Capitol Building.

We strolled by on our first morning in town to enjoy the early morning quiet before heading to Mount Vernon. A couple of tourists were there taking selfies. We stood and admired ducks splashing in the reflecting pool and the way the light and clouds changed before our eyes.

We later got a closer look.

I really liked this view.

Did you catch the story about the Summerhouse? It’s a picturesque grotto on the Capitol grounds and something you don’t want to miss if you visit. Click here to read all about it.


We encountered this young lady at National Harbor and had to pause a moment to witness the sheer joy that emanated from her and her entire party.

She was celebrating her Quinceañera. This is a religious and social event that celebrates the passage from girlhood to womanhood when she turns fifteen. You’ll find these celebrations in Mexico, Latin America and Latino communities in the US.

It begins with a Mass and is followed by a reception with food, music and dancing. She’s accompanied by a court and the event is filled with touching traditions and symbolism.

It’s lovely and we were delighted to witness this young lady and her damas or maids of honor as they posed for photos and captured the smiles and attention of passersby.

This isn’t something you see in southern Ohio so this was one of many cultural treats that we experienced in our nation’s Capitol. This is why we travel- to experience things different than what we know, to expand our horizons and to witness the joys of things we don’t have at home.