“TEAPOT TOUR” OF 1924. During the 1920s the New York state Democratic Committee’s Women’s Division, in which Eleanor Roosevelt played a leading role, made automobile campaign tours around the state. In 1924 Governor Alfred E. Smith* ran for reelection against ER’s cousin, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. To remind voters that Roosevelt had been linked to the Teapot Dome oil scandals of the Harding administration, the women constructed a large replica of a tea kettle, which they mounted on top of their automobile, and when they arrived in a town, they would make it spout steam. ER later regretted this “rough stunt” at her cousin’s expense, but it helped the Smith ticket win the state in another national Republican victory year (Lash, 291).
Lash, Joseph P. Eleanor and Franklin. 1971.
Elisabeth Israels Perry
TELEVISION. Eleanor Roosevelt skillfully used television as a means of mass communication during the last thirteen years of her life. She understood the great potential of the new medium to reach out to Americans across the nation, and she stood out as an industry defender—at least to a limited degree. In 1959 she published an article, “Television’s Contribution to the Senior Citizen,” in the most widely circulated television magazine, TV Guide. While ER admitted that she did not have much time to watch television, preferring to read newspapers instead, she expressed an appreciation for television’s vast, although sometimes underutilized, social and cultural power. She praised its capacity to act as a companion to the elderly—to keep them informed and to assist them in understanding the nation’s youth.* While many television shows were