First-Ever Wreath-Laying in Honor of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Human Rights Legacy and Birthday

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee (FDR Committee) hosted a celebration to commemorate the 137th birthday of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with a wreath-laying ceremony at the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC. The wreath-laying coincides with the 75th anniversary of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt becoming chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights and drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Featured guests included Dr. Kirk Adams, President and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), U.S. Senator (Ret) Tom Harkin, Girl Scouts from the Nation’s Capital, and Alyssa Baltrus, Chief of Interpretation and Education at the National Mall and Memorial Parks for the National Park Service.

Members from the disability community, fans of Eleanor Roosevelt, volunteers and supporters gathered by the bronze statue of the First Lady standing before the United Nations emblem, the only depiction of a First Lady at a presidential memorial, to celebrate one of the most beloved, respected, and accomplished diplomats and activists in history.

"It’s a true honor to be part of today’s ceremony," said Dr. Kirk Adams, President and CEO, AFB. "We’re so very proud to be included in this sacred trust of honoring Eleanor Roosevelt and her legacy of tireless, tireless advocacy for justice and inclusion of people with disabilities."

AFB recently released its archives of Helen Keller which includes correspondence with Eleanor RooseveltEleanor Roosevelt was a friend of Helen Keller’s and an ally of disability rights. 

In 1939, Roosevelt was named Honorary President of the Girl Scouts, and served in that role throughout her tenure as First Lady of the United States. Today, Girl Scout Troop 4720 was presented with the Eleanor Roosevelt Barbie, donated by Mattel, from Mattel’s Inspiring Women™ series that pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time. Barbie honors longest-serving First Lady of the United States and human rights activist Anna Eleanor Roosevelt as a champion of civil and economic rights policies.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884, and died at her New York City townhome on November 7, 1962, at the age of 78.

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SOURCE FDR Memorial Legacy Committee