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Eleanor Roosevelt's Visit   
Monday August 22, 2005
By Alice Mullaly

Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson

Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of President Franklin Roosevelt, in her weekly newspaper column of April 28, 1956, told of her trip that week to Medford, Oregon. It began with an enthusiastic crowd greeting her at the airport. She had come to speak at the 6th Annual Democratic Party-sponsored Roosevelt Memorial Dinner. 

That day, Mrs. Roosevelt had already worked all morning in San Francisco, held a public lunch, shopped at her favorite stores, and flown to Medford. From the airport she went to a local television station for a live interview, then to the dinner. 

More than twelve hundred people joined her at Hedrick Junior High School's gymnasium for the meal. The program included the usual flock of politicians, but Mrs. Roosevelt seemed especially touched by the McLoughlin Junior High School choir singing "Great Lady," a song written in her honor. Mrs. Roosevelt received a standing ovation for her talk about the role of the United Nations in maintaining world peace.

The next morning, though expected in San Francisco for lunch and afternoon meetings, Mrs. Roosevelt graciously held a press conference and met with a local United Nations support group. Medford was grateful that Mrs. Roosevelt took the time to visit.

Today's episode of As It Was was written by Alice Mullaly, the program engineer is Raymond Scully.  I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org

Sources: 
"My Day" by Eleanor Roosevelt in the Nevada State Journal, Reno, April 28, 1956; Medford Mail Tribune, April 24, 1956.

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