The Extraordinary Mrs. R: A Friend Remembers Eleanor Roosevelt

By William Turner Levy; Cynthia Eagle Russett | Go to book overview

Prologue

It was October 11, 1963.

Four-year-old Hall Delano Roosevelt, with his shock of bright red hair, pulled the cord and unveiled a postersize reproduction of a five-cent commemorative stamp honoring his grandmother, Eleanor Roosevelt.

As I watched him, I remembered when he was barely two years old, learning to swim in the pool at Val-Kill Cottage. Now, on that day in October, his grandmother’s birthday, he was standing as tall as possible, representing the Roosevelt family. All of her children were there to admire the purple oblong stamp featuring her radiantly smiling face. None could have foreseen that in the years ahead two more commemorative stamps would be issued to honor her, one on the one hundredth anniversary of her birth.

The postmaster general spoke briefly, introducing the president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, who also spoke briefly and then introduced Adlai E. Stevenson, who was likewise succinct.

The warmly informal ceremony took place in the Rose Garden of the White House. The green of the lawn, the whiteness of the house, and the colorful garb of several representatives of foreign nations added to the festive air.

The relatively small group of invited guests mingled and chatted. Now that a year had passed, we were no

-xiii-

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