Daily Trivia: Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt apparently once said, “A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.”  Who better to talk about strength?

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest serving first lady of the United States.  During World War I, she went off to Europe and visited wounded and shell-shocked soldiers in hospitals there. Later, during her husband’s presidency, she campaigned hard on civil rights issues — not a universally popular thing in the 1930s and 1940s.

After FDR died in 1945, she moved from the White House to Hyde Park, New York, and taught International Relations at Brandeis University. As anti-communist witch-hunting began to sweep the U.S., she stuck up for freedom of association in a way that few Americans were brave or bold enough to do.

She chided Hollywood producers for being so “chicken-hearted about speaking up for the freedom of their industry.” She said that the “American public is capable of doing its own censoring” and that “the judge who decides whether what [the film industry] does is good or bad is the man or woman who attends the movies.”


Daily Trivia: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence for the fledgling United States and then served as its secretary of state, vice president and president. He was also an inventor, philosopher, farmer, naturalist, astronomer and musician. He played the violin, the cello and the harp.

An early biographer, James Parton described the young Jefferson a year before he helped write the Declaration of Independence as follows:

“A gentleman of thirty-two who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet and play the violin.”

Jefferson died on 4th July, 1826. He was eighty-three years old and he wrote his own epitaph before he died. It didn’t mention anything about being president. It said, “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and the Father of the University of Virginia.”