Around the World with the Roosevelts

U.S. National Archives

Explore Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's lifetime of travels around the world through the collections of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

This exhibit draws on rich historical collections housed in both the Archives and Museum of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, and shows the Roosevelts’ unique relationship with people and leaders across the globe. Learn how an American president worked directly with towering international figures, became the first to fly overseas while in office, and created the United Nations. Find out how Eleanor Roosevelt's support of Allied troops in World War II and her advocacy for universal human rights inspired her famous moniker, First Lady of the World.

Regions explored:

1. Australia
2. Africa
3. North & Central America
4. Asia
5. Europe
6. South America
7. Antarctica
8. Visits of Foreign Dignitaries and Diplomats to the United States

Australia
Eleanor Roosevelt in the South Pacific
From August 17-September 24, 1943, Eleanor Roosevelt undertook a 25,000 mile trip to the South Pacific as a representative of the American Red Cross. During her trip she made 17 stops in Australia, New Zealand and a number of small Pacific Islands, including Guadalcanal, Bora Bora, Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Christmas Island. Eleanor spent most of the trip visiting about 400,000 servicemen at military bases, hospitals, nursing homes and American Red Cross recreation clubs. She chronicled her experiences in her “My Day” columns, the proceeds from which she donated to the Red Cross. 

Eleanor Roosevelt visiting wounded soldiers during her tour of the South West Pacific. The soldier in this photo is Frank J. Carroll, USNR, 7th Construction Battalion. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:169(165).

Daniel J. Spaulding, Washington, DC; Robert A. O'Neill, New York City; George R. Vosper, Steubenville, Ohio; William E. Cachvolader, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania meet the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in Bora Bora during her trip to the South Pacific. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:169(255).

Eleanor Roosvelt - trip to South West Pacific. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:169(157).

Lieutenant General Millard F. Harmon, Commanding General of the South Pacific, Eleanor Roosevelt and Admiral William F. Halsey, Commander, South Pacific Force. In the background is a C-47 airplane with painting and titled "Our Eleanor", piloted by 1st Lieutenant Roger J. Bernard, Manchester, New Hampshire, in which Mrs. Roosevelt traveled. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 57-496(1)a.

Letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to General Douglas MacArthur regarding Eleanor Roosevelt's trip to the South Pacific.(2 pages) President's Secretary's File, FDR Library.

Eleanor Roosevelt received this Māori Tiki charm when she was visiting the American Red Cross in Auckland, New Zealand, on September 1, 1943. Stamped on the reverse is "'Kia Ora' A.R.C. 1943." "Kia ora" is an informal Māori greeting. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1985.51.

Africa
Casablanca Conference
From January 14-24, 1943, FDR attended the Casablanca Conference with Winston Churchill. The meetings focused on the Allied strategic debate on the creation of a Second Front in Europe. FDR travelled to Morocco aboard a commercial aircraft – making him the first sitting president to fly. 

On the evening of January 22, the Sultan of Morocco hosted Roosevelt and Churchill to dinner. During the dinner he presented gifts to the President including this gold tiara encrusted with semi-precious stones from the Atlas Mountains. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1943.191.3.

Also presented was this dagger fitted with a gold hilt and sheath and encased in a teakwood box inlaid with mother-of-pearl. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1943.190.1.

And this pair of gold bracelets from the Sultan’s collection of family jewels, which were presented as gifts for Eleanor Roosevelt. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1943.191.1 and MO 1943.191.2.

Guestbook from the Casablanca Conference including the first page of signatures. Roosevelt Family Business and Personal Papers, FDR Library.

Dinner for the Sultan of Morocco in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's villa at the Casablanca Conference. Seated: the Sultan, FDR, Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Standing: Gen. Patton, Mr. Robert D. Murphy, Harry Hopkins, the Crown Prince, Gen. Nogues, the Grand Vizier, the Chief of Protocol, Elliott Roosevelt, Capt. McCrea. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:224.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with General Giraud, General DeGaulle and Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Casablanca, Morocco. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3628(22)

Gambia
FDR flew into Bathurst, Gambia, on both his way to the Casablanca Conference and again on his way home. After arriving in Bathurst on January 13, 1943, FDR made a tour of the waterfront by boat. These wood carvings of an Ashanti Head Chief and his court were carved of Sese wood by a native of Achimota, Gold Coast, Africa, and presented to FDR on June 29, 1943, by the His Excellency, The Right Honorable Viscount Swinton, Resident Minister for West Africa, Accra, Gold Coast, as a souvenir of the Casablanca Conference. The figures shown here are the Queen Mother, the Head Chief, the Linguist, and the Umbrella Bearer.

These wood carvings of an Ashanti Head Chief and his court were carved of Sese wood by a native of Achimota, Gold Coast, Africa, and presented to FDR on June 29, 1943, by the His Excellency, Rt. Hon. The Viscount Swinton, Resident Minister for West Africa, Accra, Gold Coast as a souvenir of the Casablanca Conference. This is a carving of the Queen Mother. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.32.1.1.

The Head Chief. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.32.1.2.

The Linguist. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.32.1.3.

And the Umbrella Bearer. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.32.1.9.

Leading wood carver of Achimota, Gold Coast, Africa. He hand carved all eleven figures of the Head Chief's entourage out of sese wood. He also created a display case for the figures. FDR Library Museum Collection Accession Files, MO 1944.32.1.1-12.

FDR in Tunisia
In November 1943, President Roosevelt traveled to the Middle East to meet with other Allied leaders and discuss strategy at the Cairo and Tehran Conferences. While en route, FDR visited Tunisia to tour the sites of several battles fought there during the previous year.   During a November 21 stop at Medjez el Bab, FDR lunched with General Dwight D. Eisenhower and three members of his White House staff: General Edwin M. “Pa” Watson, Admiral Wilson Brown, and the President’s physician, Ross T. McIntire. During lunch, a member of the party spotted this horseshoe lying on the ground nearby. FDR had the horseshoe sent to the Roosevelt Library as a memento of this outing.   While in Tunisia, FDR met with his son, Lieutenant Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, who was Commander of the Northwest African Photographic Reconnaissance Wing of the US Army Air Force at the time. Elliott had procured this 6.35mm German Ortgies pistol from a capture German officer. Upon meeting his father, he presented the pistol as a gift.

While in Tunisia, FDR met with his son, Lieutenant Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, who was Commander of the Northwest African Photographic Reconnaissance Wing of the US Army Air Force at the time. Elliott had procured this 6.35mm German Ortgies pistol from a captured German officer. Upon meeting his father, he presented the pistol as a gift. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1945.21.9.

During a November 21 stop at Medjez el Bab, FDR lunched with General Dwight D. Eisenhower and three members of his White House staff: General Edwin M. “Pa” Watson, Admiral Wilson Brown, and the President’s physician, Ross T. McIntire. During lunch, a member of the party spotted this horseshoe lying on the ground nearby. FDR had the horseshoe sent to the Roosevelt Library as a memento of this outing. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.104.6.

Cairo Conference
From November 22-26, 1943, FDR met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, and the Anglo-American combined chiefs of staff for the Cairo Conference. This meeting preceded the Teheran Conference and was primarily held to discuss Far Eastern military operations, to enhance the symbolic importance of China in the war effort and postwar planning and to provide for a U.S.-British meeting before the Teheran Conference with Stalin.   In addition to meeting on war strategy, FDR and Churchill visited the pyramids and had a traditional American Thanksgiving meal - including two turkeys FDR had brought from home.

Itinerary from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's trips to the Cairo and Teheran conferences. Map Room Papers, FDR Library.

Map of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's trips to the Cairo and Teheran conferences. Map Room Papers, FDR Library.

Handwritten page from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s diary of the Cairo and Teheran conferences. On this page from November 26th, FDR writes about hosting Thanksgiving dinner for American and British officials – including Winston Churchill. FDR writes that he had the Chiangs to tea and then the British to dinner with two turkeys he had brought from home. FDR Library.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with General Chiang-Kai Shek and Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Cairo Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:53.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, General Chiang Kai-Shek and Madame Chiang at the Cairo Conference, Egypt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3715(101).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill visit the pyramids near Cairo, Egypt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 49-164:1290.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill visit the Pyramids near Cairo, Egypt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 66-94(13).

Great Bitter Lake
After the historic conference in Yalta, President Roosevelt traveled from the Crimea region to Egypt where he boarded the USS Quincy in the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal. It would be here that FDR would confer with several Heads-of-State in this region of the world over just a few days time. Security was high as World War II hostilities were ongoing. After much diplomatic correspondence and preparation, all leaders welcomed this opportunity to finally meet and establish a personal friendship with the President. They came together to discuss the major political issues that would affect their countries in the approaching post-war era.   On February 13, King Farouk of Egypt traveled from Cairo and spent much of the day meeting with the President and touring the ship. Emperor Haile Salassie of Ethiopia arrived on board later that evening, bringing with him several gifts—a gold globe and a gold cigarette box with filigree design. The next day King Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia arrived with his large entourage of 48 people. He brought with him many gifts for the President and his family.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Emperor Haile Selassie aboard the USS Quincy during the trip to the Yalta Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3659(83).

On the evening of February 13, Emperor Haile Salassie of Ethiopia arrived on board bringing with him several gifts, including this gold cigarette box with filigree design. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1974.339.

And this gold world globe. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1386.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with King Farouk of Egypt on board USS Quincy at Great Bitter Lake, Egypt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 49-164:1718.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud with Col. W.A. Eddy and Admiral William Leahy aboard the USS Quincy. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 53-70(8).

On February 14, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia arrived with his large entourage of 48 people. He brought with him many gifts for the President and his family, including this silk dress with gold thread and matching underdress. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.494 & MO 1947.93.495.

A steel dagger in a gold and diamond encrusted hilt and sheath. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.491.

A box of perfumes in hand painted glass bottles. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.503.

A box of musk. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.504.

And a brass cloisonné box containing five pieces of ambergris. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.505.

King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia's entourage aboard the USS Murphy on their way for meeting between the King and President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Great Bitter Lake, Egypt. Here portion of ship's crew admire gifts brought by the King. Signal Corps Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 61-362(3).

North & Central America
Roosevelt at Campobello
From a young age, FDR spent almost all his summers on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada, at his family’s summer home. As a boy he spent time sailing, canoeing, gathering birds, picnicking, and playing sports. Franklin and Eleanor continued the tradition by bringing their own family to Campobello. The family acquired their own cottage in 1909, of which Eleanor said “My mother-in-law bought it and gave it to us, and this house became a great source of joy to me and a place with which I think my children have many happy associations.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt canoeing at Campobello. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4078.

Franklin D. Roosevelt with daughter Anna at Campobello, Eleanor in background. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 77-55(103).

Franklin D. Roosevelt with son Elliott at Campobello. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4804(209).

Franklin D. Roosevelt with sons FDR, Jr. and John and their model sailboats, Campobello, New Brunswick, Canada. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 74-20:921.

Franklin D. Roosevelt at Campobello, Canada with Sara, Eleanor and children on porch with "Chief." FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:2003.

FDR visits the Panama Canal
Throughout his travels FDR made many trips through the Panama Canal, including a visit to the nearly completed Canal in 1912. The work on the Canal started under President Theodore Roosevelt and was finished in 1914. FDR traveled to Panama with his brother-in-law Hall Roosevelt and his friend and Republican Senate colleague J. Mayhew Wainright. The trio was given their own personal observation car to use through the nine-mile Culebra Cut. FDR wrote home to his mother Sara saying: "I can’t begin to describe it and have become so enthusiastic that if I didn’t stop I would write all night. The two things that impress me most are the Culebra Cut, because of the colossal hole made in the ground, and the locks because of the engineering problems and size. Imagine an intricate concrete structure nearly a mile long and three or four hundred feet wide, with double gates of steel weighing 700 tons apiece!"

Franklin D. Roosevelt with Admiral Rousseau and J. Mayhew Wainwright at Culebra, Panama. "The motor of the Commission in which we inspected the cut." FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:1979.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Panama. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3660(38).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Panama. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3660(39).

Watercolor painting of the U.S.S. Houston at the Panama Canal by Ian Marshall. This painting depicts the scene of the Houston passing through the Panama Canal on July 11, 1934, with President Roosevelt on board. This was the first passage through the completed Canal by a U.S. President while in office. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2011.6.4.

USS Houston in the Panama Canal. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3660(1).

FDR in Haiti & the Dominican Republic
In 1917, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR was sent to the Caribbean to inspect the Marine operations in Haiti and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to determine whether the approaches to the Panama Canal were wholly secure. While there he acquired these two hand-forged, steel rapiers.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt during his trip to the Caribbean to inspect the Marine operations in Haiti and Santo Domingo to determine whether the approaches to the Panama Canal were wholly secure. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3689(5).

During the trip, FDR acquired these two hand-forged, steel rapiers. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1952.77.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1952.76.

Franklin & Eleanor's Diplomatic Passports
One of the great adventures of Franklin’s years as Assistant Secretary of the Navy was his trip to Europe in the summer of 1918 to inspect American naval bases and confer with Allied leaders. He returned to Europe in 1919 during the Paris Peace Conference to terminate naval contracts and dispose of surplus American property. Eleanor accompanied him on the 1919 voyage.   Eleanor’s world travels after the White House years continued until her death in 1962. This diplomatic passport was issued in February 1962 prior to her last trip to Europe. She made stops in London, France, Israel, and Switzerland. 

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's diplomatic passport from when FDR was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. (2 pages) Franklin D. Roosevelt: Papers Pertaining to Family, Business and Personal Affairs, FDR Library.

FDR and fishing
President Roosevelt was an avid, lifelong fisherman. After his mobility became limited when he contracted polio in 1921, FDR spent a great deal of his leisure time either sailing or fishing. Dr. Ross McIntire, Roosevelt’s personal physician when he was President, advised Roosevelt to go on as many vacations as possible to improve his health. McIntire later recounted, “Despite our bargain about regular vacations, I doubt, however, if he would have kept the agreement except for his love of the water and fishing.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt seated, showing fish he caught on cruise on the USS Houston, Cocos Island. NPx 48-22:4222(4).

FDR caught this sailfish on October 11, 1935, near Cocos Island, Costa Rica. It was later prepared by taxidermists Charles R. Aschemeier and Watson M. Perrygo in a laboratory in the United States National Museum, now the National Museum of Natural History. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1942.38.1.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt fishing from the USS Tuscaloosa as it passes through Mona Passage enroute to the Bahamas. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4213(9).

FDR caught this grouper in July 1938 off the coast of the Galapagos Islands. Roosevelt spent several weeks, much of it fishing, aboard the USS Houston, traveling from San Diego, CA, through the Panama Canal, and ultimately anchoring in Pensacola, FL. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1942.20.2.

FDR also caught this rock beauty during that trip. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.100.

Franklin D. Roosevelt fishing at Warm Springs, Georgia. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 74-20(464).

FDR and Campobello
At the end of the First 100 Days, Franklin Roosevelt went sailing. On June 17, 1933, he left Marion, Massachusetts, at the helm of a small rented sloop called the Amberjack II. The ship’s crew included three of his sons. Roosevelt’s destination was a poignant one—Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada. Campobello was the site of the Roosevelt family’s summer home. It was a place familiar to FDR and full of rich memories from annual trips dating back to his childhood. Yet FDR had not visited Campobello since the summer of 1921. It was there, in August 1921, that he was stricken with infantile paralysis. He had left the island on a stretcher, never to walk again unassisted. Intensely guarded about his inner feelings, FDR never revealed his private thoughts about his return to Campobello. Whatever his motivation, the positive impact of this highly-publicized sailing journey on his public image was undeniable. Today, the Roosevelt home is part of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. The park was created through an international treaty signed by Governor General Georges Vanier, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, and President Lyndon B. Johnson on January 22, 1964.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard the "Amberjack II" with Eleanor, James, Franklin, Jr., John, Nancy Cook, Frances Keller, Mary E. Dreier, Marian Dickerman and Antonia Hatvany before starting cruise to Campobello. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:1212.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt sailing on Amberjack II to Campobello. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:1214.

Crowds at Campobello Island awaiting the arrival of President Roosevelt aboard the Amberjack II. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3830(38).

Crowds at Campobello Island awaiting the arrival of President Roosevelt aboard the Amberjack II. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3830(36).

Eleanor visits Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
In March 1934, Eleanor made an inspection trip to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with a number of newspaperwomen, including Lorena Hickok, Bess Furman, and Ruby Black. Eleanor wrote about her trip in her autobiography, saying: "Rexford Tugwell, who was then in the Department of Agriculture, was going down to make a study of what could be done in that field, and my husband thought if I went too, it might show the people that he was really interested in the conditions there…I remember going down a street, looking into the houses of factory workers. Most of them consisted of two rooms; the back room had no light, and practically the only light in the front room came through the doorway. There were no screens and, of course, no plumbing or other modern conveniences. Many of the women cooked out of doors on little stoves…On my return I begged my husband to send down some labor people and industrialists to look over the situation. Some of my friends have since gone there to develop new industries and I think several small industries are going successfully. When Mr. Tugwell later became governor of Puerto Rico, he tried to carry out many of the ideas he had thought, on his first trip, might help, but the islands still remain a difficult problem and one which the United States is far from having solved satisfactorily."

Eleanor Roosevelt with left to right Emma Bugbee, Dorothy Ducas, Ruby Black and Bess Furman in Puerto Rico. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 57-592.

Eleanor Roosevelt at the Munoz Rivera School at Caguas, Puerto Rico. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 65-8a.

Eleanor Roosevelt with Lorena Hickok in Puerto Rico. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:245(1).

Eleanor Roosevelt speaks from a balcony at St. Croix, Virgin Islands. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 63-239.

Eleanor Roosevelt visits the slums of Christiansted, Virgin Islands. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 59-228.

FDR's Cruise to Hawaii
On July 1, 1934, FDR boarded the USS Houston to begin his three week journey to the Territory of Hawaii. During the cruise FDR and his party made stops in the Bahamas, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Colombia, Panama, Cocos Island, and Clipperton Island. These stops included visits with foreign leaders and dignitaries, sightseeing through various countries and lots of fishing. FDR landed in Hawaii on July 24th to begin his historic visit.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt arriving at Cap-Haitian, Haiti. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4209(14).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Panama. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3660(39).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Panama. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3660(38).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt at a picnic on Cocos Island during his cruise to Hawaii. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4285(144).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt at a picnic on Cocos Island during his cruise to Hawaii. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4805(76).

FDR Visits Hawaii, 1934
In July of 1934, FDR became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Territory of Hawaii. He crossed the Pacific aboard the USS Houston, spent some time fishing off the shores of Kailua-Kona, and then debarked at the ports of Hilo and Honolulu to tour cultural sites, natural landmarks, and military areas. The people of Hawaii joyfully welcomed the President, demonstrating for him their pride in Hawaiian culture, both ancient and modern. More than 60,000 people, including a flotilla of traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoes, greeted FDR as he arrived in Honolulu. Hawaiian dignitaries adorned the President with customary flower leis, residents lined the streets for welcome parades, and a grand luau took place at FDR’s Royal Hawaiian Hotel headquarters, complete with hula demonstrations and a kalua pig roasted inside a traditional imu underground oven. Over several days FDR toured the Big Island and Oahu by car, meeting many Hawaiians and observing New Deal inspired building and educational developments. Roosevelt’s two sons even took surfing lessons with the legendary Duke Kahanamoku. The FDR Presidential Library houses several gifts Roosevelt received during the 1934 visit. In his departing remarks to the people of Hawaii on July 28th, 1934, the President expressed his thanks to all, bidding them “Aloha from the bottom of my heart.” FDR’s next and final visit to Hawaii would take place ten years later, in 1944, near the end of World War II. By that time the small yet influential Pacific Island chain had taken on a more infamous role in world history.

Roosevelt received several gifts during his visit, including this patriotic Roosevelt auto sticker from maker Boisse Press. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2005.56a.

A coconut shell bowl from the Waipahu Filipino Social Club of Oahu. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.8.5.

A handmade calabash bowl carved from Kou wood given by the Hawaii State Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.8.13.

A model of an outrigger canoe carved from one piece of Kou wood. Presented by the Hawaiian Japanese Civic Association. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.7.113.

A wooden canoe paddle inscribed in Hawaiian from the Royal Order of Kamehameha. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.343.

A small wooden surfboard from the Waipahu Japanese Civic Club given in honor of the Roosevelt Bridge. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.13.91.

And a desk lamp given to FDR by the Mamalahoa Chapter, Number Two, Order of Kamehameha. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 20014.10.

Aerial view of the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Hotels in Honolulu, Hawaii. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3884(16).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt visits Hawaii. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3706(158).

A civilian employee of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Navy Yard hands gift to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on his visit. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3706(126).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt receives gifts while in Hawaii. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:1777.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt watches a traditional hula in Hawaii. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3716(255).

FDR and King Neptune's Court
FDR took part in a lighthearted Crossing of the Line ceremony when the USS Indianapolis crossed the Equator en route to South America in 1936. This longstanding Navy tradition required first-timers, dubbed pollywogs, to stand before King Neptune’s Court as a rite of initiation. Presidents, apparently, were no exception. Original caption reads: “The Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy pleads his case before the Royal Judge. Beside him stands the Defense Attorney, ready to defend his client against anything but the charges of the court.”
FDR in the Caribbean
In December 1940, FDR traveled to the Caribbean to inspect bases sites as well as get some R&R. During the trip he visited the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Martinique, and Antigua and met with a number of local dignitaries, including the Duke of Windsor. It was on this trip that FDR came up with the idea for Lend-Lease.   

Proposed itinerary for President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1940 Caribbean inspection trip. President's Official File 200: Trips of the President, FDR Library.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt waving to crowd while aboard the USS Tuscaloosa in Miami, Florida enroute to his Caribbean inspection trip. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4213(2).

Atlantic Charter
On August 3, 1941, the White House informed the press that FDR was leaving Washington for a fishing cruise.     In fact, the President was headed for a top-secret meeting with Winston Churchill aboard two warships in the North Atlantic. FDR used the conference to signal support for Britain in its battle with the Axis Powers. The conference lasted from August 9-12. At its conclusion, Roosevelt and Churchill issued the “Atlantic Charter”- a joint declaration of principles that helped rally the Allied nations.   The Atlantic Conference gave the British people hope that the United States would at last join them in fighting Hitler.  But when isolationists claimed FDR had made “secret commitments” to Churchill to intervene in the European war, Roosevelt publicly denied the charges.       In January 1941, prior to their meeting in the North Atlantic, Roosevelt wrote to Winston Churchill quoting a verse from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “The Building of the Ship.” The note proved to be an inspiration for Churchill, who at the time was anxiously seeking American support in the war. Churchill repeated the lines in a radio broadcast and it soon became an inspiration for the British people.   When Roosevelt and Churchill met for the Atlantic Conference seven months later, Churchill brought with him two of these decorative broadside lithographs featuring the same verse. Both Roosevelt and Churchill signed each print and Churchill presented this copy to FDR.

In January 1941, prior to their meeting in the North Atlantic, Roosevelt wrote to Winston Churchill quoting a verse from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “The Building of the Ship.” The note proved to be an inspiration for Churchill, who at the time was anxiously seeking American support in the war. Churchill repeated the lines in a radio broadcast and it soon became an inspiration for the British people.

When Roosevelt and Churchill met for the Atlantic Conference seven months later, Churchill brought with him two of these decorative broadside lithographs featuring the same verse. Both Roosevelt and Churchill signed each print and Churchill presented this copy to FDR. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2010.10.10.

Pages from a signed dinner menu from the Atlantic Charter Conference. President's Secretary's File, FDR Library. (2 pages)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill singing during services aboard the HMS Prince of Wales at the Atlantic Charter Conference. Elliott Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Hap Arnold, Harry Hopkins, Averill Harriman, George Marshall and Admiral Stark in background. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3616(37).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill after services aboard the HMS Prince of Wales at the Atlantic Charter Conference, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3626(56).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard the HMS Prince of Wales at the Atlantic Charter Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3713(60).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Elliott Roosevelt at the Atlantic Charter Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3616(33).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minsiter Winston Churchill and British and American representatives at Atlantic Charter meeting. Fala is in front of FDR. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-276.

Franklin and Eleanor visit Mexico
On April 20, 1943, Franklin and Eleanor made a visit to Monterrey, Mexico, to meet with President Manuel Avila Camacho and his wife. The two leaders and their wives reviewed Mexican troops, watched a performance by Mexican school children and attended an official state dinner. President Camacho and his wife returned the visit by accompanying FDR and Eleanor to a U.S. Navy air base in Corpus Christi, Texas, the next day. During his dinner remarks, FDR stated: "It is an amazing thing to have to realize that nearly 34 years have passed since Chief Executives of our two countries have met face to face. I hope that in the days to come every Mexican and every American President will feel at liberty to visit each other just as neighbors visit each other- just as neighbors talk things over and get to know each other better…We have achieved close understanding and unity of purpose, and I am grateful to you, Mr. President, and to the Mexican people, for this opportunity to meet you on Mexican soil, and—to call you friends. You and I are breaking another precedent. Let these meetings between Presidents of Mexico and the United States recur again and again and again." 

Presidents of the two American nations and their wives stand before the train which brought President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Monterrey, Mexico. L-R: Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. Avila Camacho, President Roosevelt and President Avila Camacho of Mexico. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:586.

Bayonets of the troops of Mexico looming large in the foreground, the Presidents of that country and the United States stand with their wives in a reviewing stand at Monterrey, Mexico during President Roosevelt's memorable visit. L-r: Mrs. Avila Camacho; FDR; President Camacho; and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. Just outside the stand, at Mrs. Roosevelt's right is Francisco Castillo Najera, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. US Navy Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:581.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with his arm raised high and his fingers spred in the "V for victory" salute, received this enthusiastic response from school children in Monterrey, Mexico during his trip. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 61-247(3).

Mrs. Manual Aliva Camacho, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Camacho and Mrs. Roosevelt watch a demonstration by thousands of school children in Military City during their visit to Monterrey, Mexico. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 61-151(10).

A lavish array of fruit and flowers brightened the scene at the official dinner given for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and members of his party on their visit to Monterrey, Mexico. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:627.

President Camacho presented FDR with this special label bottle of Bogedas De Santo Thomas vermouth. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2008.13.4.

President Camacho later sent FDR eighty-eight cases of Moselle Blanco Extrafino wine after Roosevelt expressed a likeness for it during a dinner in Monterrey. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1980.34.

A bronze replica of the statue of Charles IV of Spain, known as El Caballito, by Manuel Tolsá. Given to FDR during his visit to Monterrey by Dr. Francisco Castillo Nájera, Mexican ambassador to the U.S., and General Elpidio G. Velázquez, Governor of the State of Durango. The original statue stands in the Plaza Manuel Tolsá in Mexico City. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1943.233.6.

A handmade Mexican serape with portraits of President Camacho and FDR. Presented to FDR on June 17, 1943, by Alfredo Chávez, Governor of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.46.2.

A Mexican skirt labeled El Traje Regionals—The Regional Costume—made by Professor Maria Luisa Beltran of Puga, Puebla, and given to Eleanor Roosevelt. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1985.1.27.

Quebec Conference
FDR and Winston Churchill held two wartime conferences in Quebec. The first conference took place on August 17-24, 1943. The two discussed topics concerning the future operations in the Mediterranean and Operation Overlord. Conversations on atomic energy were also on the agenda, with FDR and Churchill agreeing that neither would communicate any information about atomic development to third parties, namely the Soviet Union, without each other’s consent. The second Quebec Conference was held on September 11-16, 1944. The central topics of this conference were postwar policy towards Germany and postwar economic assistance to Britain. Two silver models of a Whale and a Phoenix were presented to President Roosevelt by Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Second Quebec Conference in September 1944. These are small scale models representing installations devised and built as part of the artificial harbor constructed off the beaches of Normandy in June 1944. 

Two silver models of a Whale and a Phoenix were presented to President Roosevelt by Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Second Quebec Conference in September 1944. These are small scale models representing installations devised and built as part of the artificial harbor constructed off the beaches of Normandy in June 1944.

A Whale was an 80 foot long pontoon bridge causeway, which connected the Lobnitz pier to the shore. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.103.

A Phoenix was a hollow concrete caisson 200 feet long by 60 feet wide by 60 feet high. Laid end to end they formed a breakwater near the beach for landing craft to unload their cargo. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.104.

Eleanor Roosevelt giving a treat to Fala as he performs for Prime Minister MacKenzie King during the Quebec Conference. Signal Corps Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3654(49).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Lord Athlone and Prime Minister Mackenzie King at the Second Quebec Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 83-43(1).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Lord Athlone and Prime Minister Mackenzie King at the Second Quebec Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 83-43(2).

Eleanor Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Prime Minister Mackenzie King and Princess Alice at Second Quebec Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 83-43(3).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Lord Athlone, Eleanor Roosevelt and Princess Alice at the Second Quebec Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 83-43(4).

Eleanor Visits the Caribbean
"On the 4th of March Tommy and I left for our 13,000-mile plane trip in the Caribbean area. My husband had insisted that I take this trip. Because the war had receded in that area, the men stationed there felt they were in a backwater and chafed to be where they could do what they considered a more important job. Nevertheless, we had to have men there to guard and watch for submarines, because there was so much traffic to Europe, Asia and Africa. Franklin wanted the men to realize that he knew and understood the whole picture and believed they were doing a vital job-that they were not forgotten, even though they were not on the front line.   I was getting a little weary of the criticism heaped on me for taking these trips, but because my husband insisted that my visit to the South Pacific had been a success in that it had accomplished what he had hoped for, I decided to make this tour. He mapped it out, and I took Miss Thompson with me. The entire trip, from March 4 to March 28, was by air, and in that period we visited Guantánamo, Cuba; Jamaica, Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands; Antigua; St. Lucia; Trinidad; Paramaribo; Belém, Natal and Recife in Brazil; La Guaira; Curaçao; Aruba; Barranquilla; Canal Zone; Salinas; Galápagos Islands; Guatamala; Havana, Cuba. From Havana we flew straight home.” - Eleanor Roosevelt’s Autobiography. While visiting Puerto Rico in 1944, The Boy Scouts of America of Puerta De Tierra presented this pin to Eleanor Roosevelt along with a greeting from Scout Executive David Acosta.
FDR Visits Alaska
On August 3, 1944 FDR arrived in Alaska for a six day inspection and fishing trip. While in Alaska FDR made stops at Adak, Kodiak, and Auke Bay. This flag of the President of the United States was used during FDR's trip to the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska in July-August 1944. It was made by the Signal Force of the heavy cruiser USS Baltimore. This trip made news during the presidential campaign of 1944, when it was alleged that Fala was left behind in the Aleutian Islands and FDR sent a Navy destroyer back to retrieve him. In a speech to the Teamsters Union on September 23, 1944, FDR responded to the claims saying: "These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family doesn’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him— at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars- his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself—such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog."

This flag of the President of the United States was used during Roosevelt's trip to the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska in July-August 1944. Made by the Signal Force of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Baltimore. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1945.25.3.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt at lunch in chief petty officers mess hall, Adak, Alaska, with Army, Navy, and Seabee personnel. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 66-93(5).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the Army and Navy installation at Kodiak, Alaskan strongold east of the Aleutians. In addition to the inspection of military facilities, the Presidential party also took time out for a little fishing in one of Kodiak's streams. US Navy Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3868(498).

FDR and Stamps
FDR began to collect stamps as a child.  The far-flung business interests of his Delano relatives provided the young collector with a steady supply of foreign stamps. From his stamps he gained an invaluable knowledge of peoples and of geography. This hobby persisted with Roosevelt his entire life and he was well-known for his collection. As a result, he was often presented with stamps, stamp covers, and stamp albums as gifts from foreign Heads-of-State and governments. Here you can see a few of the stamp-related gifts from all over the world FDR received during his presidency.

This album was young Franklin’s first stamp album, which he started when he was 9 years old. In it he carefully stored the stamps from his well-traveled relatives. It became the framework of his famous stamp collection. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2014.3.1.

Page of stamps from FDR's first stamp album. This page includes various late-nineteenth century stamps and postcards from France and Germany. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2014.3.1.

Carved leather stamp album commemorating the opening of the Nuevo Laredo—Mexico City Highway in 1936. A gift from President Lázaro Cárdenas of Mexico. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.37.10.

Painted leather stamp album cover presented in 1938 by Kyösti Kallio, the President of the Republic of Finland. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.37.9.

Album of postage stamps of the U.S.S.R. Cover painted by the Handicraft Artists of Palech, U.S.S.R. Gifted to FDR on the occasion of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.37.6.

Asia
Teheran Conference
“[W]e have concerted our plans for the destruction of the German forces. We have reached complete agreement as to the scope and timing of the operations to be undertaken from the east, west, and south.” -Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Teheran Declaration, December 1, 1943. In November 1943, FDR journeyed to the Middle East to attend his first wartime conference with Joseph Stalin. The “Big Three”—Roosevelt, Stalin, and Winston Churchill—gathered at Teheran, Iran. The decisions they made there shaped both the war and the peace that followed. The issue of a Second Front commanded the greatest attention. Impatient with Anglo-American postponements, Stalin demanded a firm commitment to a date for the invasion of northwest Europe. Churchill favored further delay—arguing instead for new military initiatives in Italy and the Balkans. But FDR sided with Stalin and the three leaders agreed to a spring 1944 invasion. Stalin then pressed his allies to quickly name the invasion’s commander. Shortly after the conference, FDR selected General Dwight D. Eisenhower. While in Teheran for the conference with Churchill and Stalin, FDR met with Mohammad Rezâ Šâh Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. The Shah presented FDR with this Isfahan Persian rug designed by acclaimed Iranian artist Imami. The piece took 10 years to make and has 50 knots per square inch. FDR had the rug installed in his private study at the FDR Library, where it still resides today. The photo above was taken in 2013 after the piece had been cleaned and conserved.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the Shah of Iran during his trip to the Cairo and Teheran Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3715(110).

President Franklin D. Roosvelt visits with US Army troops during his trip to the Teheran Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 61-520(11).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt seated on porch with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill, at Teheran, Iran. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3715(107).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin at a photo session during the Teheran Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 61-158(5).

While in Teheran for the conference with Churchill and Stalin, FDR met with Mohammad Rezâ Šâh Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. The Shah presented FDR with this Isfahan Persian rug designed by acclaimed Iranian artist Imami. The piece took 10 years to make and has 50 knots per square inch. FDR had the rug installed in his private study at the FDR Library, where it still resides today. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.95.53

Eleanor Roosevelt in Israel
Eleanor Roosevelt strongly supported Israel from the time of its founding in 1948, often using her political influence to advocate with officials in Washington for support of the Jewish state. She made numerous trips there, the first in 1952 and the last in 1962, just 8 months before her death.

Eleanor Roosevelt in Baga-al-Gabya, Israel. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 60-139(27).

Eleanor Roosevelt behind microphone in Israel. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-28(40).

Eleanor Roosevelt in India
In 1952 Eleanor made a significant trip to Asia – a month of which was spent in India. Having been invited by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Eleanor chronicled her trip through her “My Day” columns and later in her book India and the Awakening East. Through her writings she worked on educating Americans on what was a little-known country at the time. While in India Eleanor visited hospitals, schools, women’s and social work organizations, and universities – several of which gave her honorary degrees. Eleanor also received several ceremonial necklaces throughout the trip, such as the one seen here. She also received these two pencil sketches of Mahatma Gandhi and FDR. Each drawing is inscribed to ER by the artist, Swamy. Her “My Day” column from March 3, 1952, talks about her excitement at finally visiting India:     "It is very exciting to be in India after reading my father’s letters of many years ago, which told of his trip under very different circumstances 89 years ago. Meeting people from here and reading books about it are not quite the same as seeing with one’s own eyes. It is really a joy to feel that I have accomplished something I have talked about and hoped for, but really did not ever expect to see. My impressions are becoming very well crystallized in my mind as I go forward on this trip, and it is certainly most interesting to see the difference that a landscape takes on when it is peopled by so many more inhabitants than one would see at home in the same area of space."

Prime Minister Nehru and Indira Gandhi greet Eleanor Roosevelt at a recpetion held in her honor. New Delhi, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(25)

Eleanor Roosevelt with Shri G.V. Mavalankar, speaker to Parliament of India; Shri Jawaharla Nehru, Prime Minister of India; Shri S.N. Sinha, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and others at Parliament House, New Delhi, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(35).

Eleanor Roosevelt trying her hand on the spinning wheel at the Harijan Colony, New Delhi, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(49).

Eleanor Roosevelt, Maureen Corr, and others in a small boat on a lake in Trivandrum, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(102)

Eleanor Roosevelt speaking at a press conference. Trivandrum, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(105).

Eleanor Roosevelt shaking hands with Prime Minister Nehru before her departure from India. Calcutta, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(226).

Eleanor Roosevelt trip to India, visit to Mrs. K. Sayani's Women's Literacy classes at Bhendi Bazar, Bombay. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-32(12).

Eleanor Roosevelt with Prime Minister Nehru on her arrival in New Delhi, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 58-308.

Eleanor received several ceremonial necklaces throughout the trip, such as the one seen here. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1973.104.

Eleanor Roosevelt visits a refugee women's colony in New Delhi, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(41).

Eleanor Roosevelt at a primary school in Asadpur, India. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-30(178).

ER received two pencil sketches, this one of Mahatma Gandhi, inscribed by the artist, Swamy. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1049

The other sketch is of President Roosevelt. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1050.

Eleanor Roosevelt in Pakistan
During her 1952 “Around the World” trip, Eleanor made a stop in Karachi, Pakistan, where she was to be the guest of the All Pakistan Women’s Association. She wrote about the trip in her autobiography saying: "We flew to Karachi, the capital of Pakistan, where I was to be the guest of the All Pakistan Women’s Association, at the invitation of Begum Liaquat Ali Khan…I had met the Begum Liaquat Ali Khan at a meeting of the General Assembly in Paris and had found her delightful. After the assassination of her husband, which shocked the world, the begum had devoted herself to trying to carry out his plans for his people. It is because of her leadership and the example of the Begum Husain Malik, that the women of Pakistan have begun to free themselves of the restrictions imposed by tradition. The principal instrument through which they are accomplishing their really magnificent work is the All Pakistan Women’s Association, which has set up medical clinics, established educational centers, diffused information about agricultural methods, developed skills and handicrafts. The spirit of the people of Pakistan is something one does not soon forget. There is courage and great vitality. They are determined to make their government succeed, and their nation a cohesive force. In talking to the men at the head of this government, I was convinced that their devotion and intelligent approach, with the resolute support of the people, cannot fail to make Pakistan a great country."

Eleanor received the material used to make this dress while traveling through Pakistan. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1960.30.

She had the dress made after she returned to the US and then wore the dress at her 70th birthday celebration on October 11, 1954. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 58-576(1).

Eleanor Roosevelt in the Children Ward of Lady Dafferin Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan with Lt. Col. M. Jaffar, Director-General of Health, Pakistan and Dr. Miss Ghulam Mohammad, Superintendent of the Hospital. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-29(6).

Eleanor Visits Japan
In May 1953, Eleanor began an around the world trip as an unofficial ambassador of U.S. culture. She spent the first five weeks of her trip in Japan as part of a cultural exchange program. Eleanor met with Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako, talked with women’s groups, students and government ministers and visited Hiroshima. This group of dolls was presented to Eleanor Roosevelt during her visit to Japan 1953 by the New Japan Broadcasting Co. Ltd., the Meiji Mutual Life Insurance Co., and Mrs. Keiko Tokonami, President of Holy Friend Home (Seiyu Home) in Tokyo.

This group of dolls was presented to Eleanor Roosevelt during her visit by the New Japan Broadcasting Co. Ltd., the Meiji Mutual Life Insurance Co., and Mrs. Keiko Tokonami, President of Holy Friend Home (Seiyu Home) in Tokyo. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1955.75.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1955.76.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1955.78.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1955.79.

Eleanor Roosevelt visits temple in Nara, Japan. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-497(4).

Eleanor Roosevelt's Long Trip Home from Japan
After leaving Japan at the end of June, Eleanor continued westward, making stops in Hong Kong, Thailand, Burma, India, Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Austria, France, and England. She chronicled her travels through her daily “My Day” columns. 

Eleanor Roosevelt in Vienna, Austria. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 65-314.

Eleanor Roosevelt in Rangoon, Burma. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 54-80(14).

This silver smoking case was a gift from La’iad Phibunsongkhram, wife of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, Prime Minister of Thailand, after Eleanor Roosevelt’s trip to Thailand. Inside of the case are a silver cigarette lighter, mirror, and receptacles for cigarettes and cosmetics. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1970.4 .

Europe
FDR in England
In 1889, FDR spent some time with his half-brother Rosy’s family in Bicester, England.

James R. Roosevelt, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, & Helen R. Roosevelt at Bicester, England. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4137.

James R. Roosevelt, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, & Helen R. Roosevelt at Bicester, England. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 79-140.

Franklin D. Roosevelt with Helen R. Roosevelt in a house that James R. Roosevelt (Rosy) had for the summer at Bicester, England. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4136.

FDR's Childhood Trips to Germany
FDR made a number of trips to Europe with his parents during his childhood, including numerous trips to Germany. The Roosevelts often traveled to Germany to visit several ancient springs in hope that they would help Mr. James’ health. Roosevelt historian Geoff Ward recounts a story of one of these German trips in his book Before the Trumpet. During a trip in 1896, FDR and his tutor Mr. Dumper “found themselves under arrest four times in one busy day of bicycling – for picking cherries along the roadside, for wheeling their bicycles into a railroad depot, for riding into Strasbourg after dusk…and finally, for inadvertent slaughter of a panicky goose that had thrust its long neck between the spokes of Mr. Dumper’s front wheel.” FDR managed to get them out of the first three violations without a fine, but in the end they did have to pay five marks to the owner of the goose. “Franklin always maintained the bird had really ‘committed suicide.’”

Franklin D. Roosevelt at St. Blasien, Germany, taken by his mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3982(54).

Franklin D. Roosevelt in Germany with bow and arrow. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:156.

Eleanor Roosevelt at Allenswood
“For three years, I basked in her generous presence, and I think those three years did much to form my character and give me the confidence to go through some of the trials that awaited me … .” -Eleanor Roosevelt, describing Marie Souvestre’s influence on her, The Seven People Who Shaped My Life, 1951. Until age 15, Eleanor was educated in small private classes conducted in her family’s homes. She had few friends and froze when called upon to answer questions. But she loved learning and read voraciously. In 1899, her Grandmother Hall sent her to Allenswood Academy, an exclusive girls’ finishing school near London.  Allenswood’s headmistress was Marie Souvestre, a formidable woman of deep intellect and progressive ideas. Eleanor flourished at Allenswood. She described her years there as the “happiest of my life.” Souvestre recognized ER’s hidden strengths, helped her gain confidence, and awakened her social conscience. This “extraordinary character,” ER recalled, “exerted perhaps the greatest influence on my girlhood.” In 1902, Eleanor reluctantly came home from Allenswood to make her debut in New York society. Her formal education was over. But ER was profoundly changed. She kept Marie Souvestre’s portrait on her desk throughout her life. 

Eleanor Roosevelt's Report Card from Allenswood School. Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, FDR Library.

Eleanor Roosevelt at Allenswood School. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 65-420.

Eleanor Roosevelt at Mlle. Souvestre's School, Allenswood, South Fields near Wimbledon Commons, England. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4289(4).

Eleanor's Childhood Trips to Switzerland
During her three years spent at Allenswood, Eleanor frequently travelled throughout England and continental Europe visiting friends and relatives, including a trip in 1900 to St. Moritz, Switzerland. From Eleanor’s autobiography: "As the summer holidays came nearer my excitement grew for I was to travel to Saint-Moritz in Switzerland to spend my holiday with the Mortimers. My first view of these beautiful mountains was breath-taking, for I had never seen any high mountains. I lived opposite the Catskill Mountains in summer and loved them, but how much more majestic were these great snow-capped peaks all around us as we drove into the Engadine. The little Swiss chalets, built into the sides of the hills and with places under them for all the livestock that did not actually wander into the kitchen, were picturesque, but strange to my eyes with their fretwork decoration…The hotels [in Saint-Moritz] all bordered the lake, and the thing that I remember best about my time there was the fact that Tissie and I got up every morning early enough to walk to a little café that perched out above the lake on a promontory at one end. There we drank coffee or cocoa and ate rolls with fresh butter and honey, the sun just peeping out over the mountains and touching us with its warm rays. I can still remember how utterly contented I was!"

Eleanor Roosevelt in a formal portrait taken in St. Moritz during her trip to Switzerland. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4289(5).

Eleanor Roosevelt in St. Moritz, Switzerland. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 65-26B.

Honeymoon
Franklin and Eleanor were married on March 17, 1905, in New York City where Eleanor’s uncle, President Theodore Roosevelt, gave away the bride and stole the show for the day. Franklin and Eleanor then departed for an extended three month summer honeymoon. The couple traveled from Britain through France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and back to Britain again before returning home in time for Franklin to begin his second year of law school at Columbia University. While traveling throughout Europe, FDR and Eleanor purchased a number of objects which now reside in our museum collections. 

While traveling throughout Europe on their 1905 honeymoon, Franklin and Eleanor acquired a number of objects. They purchased this silver platter in Paris. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1971.66.1.

FDR purchased this 17th century sketch attributed to Claude Gellee Lorrain in Nancy, France. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.3.65.

This fan was presented to Eleanor by her maternal Aunt Tissie (Elizabeth Livingston Hall), while visiting St. Moritz, Switzerland. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1985.1.17.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on their honeymoon at Strathpeffer, Scotland. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 57-647.

Eleanor Roosevelt with Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ferguson in Strathpeffer, Scotland on her honeymoon. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4927(40).

FDR bought this cape for Eleanor in Scotland. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1971.60.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on their honeymoon at San Remo, Italy. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4014(20).

Eleanor Roosevelt in Venice, Italy on "the last day" of Franklin and Eleanor's honeymoon in Europe. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4927(8).

The couple purchased this coverlet while in Venice. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1972.20.

FDR rides in a dirigible
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first sitting president to ride in an airplane, an occasion marked by a very long overseas flight to attend the 1943 Casablanca conference. FDR’s distant cousin, Theodore, was the first president ever to fly, a trip that took place back in 1910 shortly after he had left the presidency. FDR may have set an additional aviation first – we think he may have been the first president to fly on-board a dirigible airship (also known as a blimp or zeppelin)! During World War I, serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR traveled to Europe to inspect US Navy facilities. Several weeks into his trip, on August 17th, 1918, he visited a base in Paimboeuf, Western France, where he was offered a ride aboard a French-built airship. Considered too vulnerable for use on the front, airships were primarily used for scouting missions and mine clearance throughout Western Europe during the war. The use of airships later declined as airplane technology advanced and after several high profile accidents. FDR was serving his second term as president when the infamous Hindenburg crashed in New Jersey in 1937. FDR writes about the flying experience in his log of the trip saying: "I tried my hand at running the lateral stearing[sic] gear and also the elevating and depressing gear. The sensation is distinctly curious, less noise than an areo.[sic] and far more feeling of drifting at the mercy of the wind."

Excerpt from Assitant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt's European trip log detailing his flight in a dirigible. Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR Library. (2 pages)

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt in a dirigible gondola during trip to Europe. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4801(133).

FDR visits the front in World War I
FDR served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I. During the summer of 1918 he traveled to Europe to visit the front lines of the fighting in France. FDR made stops in England and Paris before heading towards the trenches. He visited the battlefields at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Verdun, was briefly under enemy fire and came within a mile of the German lines. FDR wrote about his experience in a log he kept during the trip.

This “Tankstelle,” or “Gas Station,” signboard was found by FDR within a half hour after the Germans had evacuated an area in France, during the big Allied offensive in August 1918. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.13.46.

Excerpts from Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1918 trip log while touring Europe during World War I. Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, FDR Library.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt enroute to France for an inspection trip. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3690(2).

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt at Fort Douaunsont, France. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4802(68).

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt on an inspection trip to Europe during WWI. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4802(56).

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt on an inspection trip to Europe during WWI. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4802(83).

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt and a group of men stand on a stack of railroad ties in France. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4801(104).

Eleanor in Europe, 1929
In July 1929, Eleanor left for a summer long tour of Europe with her sons Franklin, Jr. and John, as well as friends Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook. Eleanor recounted the trip in her autobiography saying: "That summer, with the two younger boys, I went to Europe. My husband had particularly wanted me to show them the fronts over which our men had fought World War I, Quentin Roosevelt’s grave, and some cemeteries. I had already pointed out to them in the little villages of England the monuments to the men who had been killed in that war. The cemeteries, with their rows and rows of crosses, made an impression on the boys, but they were, of course, unable to gather the significance of the new buildings in the old French villages and towns. To young Americans, new buildings were not strange, and while I was impressed by the way nature had covered her scars in the woods and fields, I pointed out to the boys the whitened stumps and the fact that the trees were young, showing that whole forests had been mowed down just a few years ago. In the fields I pointed out the ditches, which had been dug by soldiers for protection, and the curious holes made by bursting shells, now covered with grass. My older son said to me one day: ‘This is a funny country. There are only boys our age and old men coming out of the fields. There don’t seem to be any men of father’s age.’ That was simply another proof that the war had taken from France a heavy toll of her young men from 1914 to 1918."

Eleanor Roosevelt with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Marion Dickerman and John Roosevelt aboard the "Regina." FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 81-91(172).

Eleanor Roosevelt with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Marion Dickerman and John Roosevelt aboard the "Regina." FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 81-91(169).

Marion Dickerman, John Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt during their trip to Europe. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 81-91(238).

Eleanor Roosevelt during her 1929 trip to Europe with sons Franklin Jr. and John. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 81-91(199).

Eleanor in Great Britain
In October 1942, Eleanor traveled to Great Britain on a goodwill trip to help foster Anglo-American relations. While there she toured the country - meeting with American servicemen, British women defense workers, Prime Minister Churchill, members of Parliament and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Eleanor talked about the trip in her autobiography saying: "The next event of real importance to me was my husband’s decision that I should accept Queen Elizabeth’s invitation to go to Great Britain to see the work the women were doing in the war and to visit our servicemen stationed there. I did not know that one of the reasons my husband was eager to have me go over there was that those men would shortly be leaving for North Africa for the invasion...The trip to Great Britain seemed to offer me a chance to do something that might be useful…I visited universities and innumerable factories, stayed on estates where the grounds were now being used for agricultural purposes and in country houses whose owners, now living in one small part of them, had turned them into nurseries for evacuated or wounded children. I saw the way the Women’s Voluntary Services had organized to perform innumerable duties, from moving into a town which had just been bombed and needed everything from food to laundry service, to looking after the billeting of workers who had been moved from one factory to another."

Eleanor Roosevelt at the Washington Club of the American Red Cross in Mayfair, London, England. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:1(16).

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Chief Commander of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) inspecting ATS troops somewhere in England. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:1(25).

Eleanor Roosevelt greeted by King George and Queen Elizabeth at Paddington Station upon arrival in England. Malvina Thompson in background. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:1(3).

Eleanor Roosevelt in Glasgow, Scotland. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:1(92).

FDR at Malta
On February 2, 1945, FDR arrived in Malta aboard the USS Quincy for a preliminary conference with Prime Minister Winston Churchill before the meeting in Yalta of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.  

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Malta on way to Crimea, Yalta Conference. Signal Corps Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 49-164:2008(47).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with his daughter Anna Boettiger on the USS Quincy at Malta. Signal Corps Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 49-164:2008(50).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Anna Boettiger, Sarah Churchill and Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard the USS Quincy at Malta before the Yalta Conference. Signal Corps Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3659(15).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard the USS Quincy with James F. Byrnes and Ross McIntire (foreground) at Malta. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 78-9(523).

The heavy cruiser USS Quincy arriving at Malta. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 49-164:1579.

Telegram from Prime Minister Winston Churchill to President Franklin D. Roosevelt regarding their meeting in Malta prior to the Yalta Conference. Map Room Papers, FDR Library.

Yalta Conference
“I didn’t say the result was good. I said it was the best I could do.” -Franklin Roosevelt to diplomat Adolf Berle, Jr. In the winter of 1945, Roosevelt met with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin for the last time. The setting was the Ukrainian town of Yalta. The Big Three gathered to chart a course for final victory in World War II.  But during the Yalta Conference, they also struggled to create the basis for post-war cooperation. FDR received Stalin’s firm commitment to enter the increasingly bloody war against Japan three months after Germany’s defeat. With American casualties rising in the Pacific war— and the atomic bomb yet untested— this was a significant achievement for the President. The Big Three also formally agreed to another of FDR’s priorities—the establishment of the United Nations organization. But there were serious disagreements about the future of Germany and the fate of areas occupied by Soviet armies, especially Poland.  

Joseph Stalin presented President Roosevelt with this pair of bear fur gloves. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2001.8.2.

And this box of Dukat papirosa (unfiltered) cigarettes. Inside the box are 13 unused cigarettes. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2004.11.5.

As a memento of the trip, this short snorter was created using a one chervonitz Soviet bill. A short snorter was a bill, typically from the destination country, signed by fellow travelers of a transoceanic flight. While Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and Steve Early’s names are handwritten on the edges of the bill, they did not sign the bill. The bill was signed by Edwin M. Watson (just days before he died), Ross T. McIntire, Edward Flynn, Harry L. Hopkins, James F. Byrnes, William Leahy, an unidentifiable signature, and Anna Roosevelt Boettiger. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1973.75.

Livadia Palace exterior during the Yalta Conference. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3659(31).

A general view of the conference table on the first day of the Crimean (Yalta) Conference. Showing Marshal Joseph Stalin on left and President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the right. Prime Minister Winston Churchill has his back to camera. With FDR are Admiral William Leahy and General George C. Marshall. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3659(55).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Marshal Joseph Stalin at Livadia Palace, Yalta in the Crimea, Soviet Union. U.S. Army Photograph. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 53-70:5.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, Edward Stettinius and Molotov at Saki Airport, Russia enroute to Yalta. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 49-164:1724.

Eleanor Roosevelt and the United Nations
“We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind… . This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere.” -Eleanor Roosevelt, Speech to U.N. General Assembly on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 9, 1948. In December 1945, seeking to signal America’s commitment to the new United Nations organization— and cement his ties to a powerful Democratic party figure— President Harry Truman appointed Eleanor Roosevelt to America’s first delegation to the General Assembly. Eleanor quickly became a major force on refugee and human rights issues. From 1946 to 1951 she chaired the U.N. Human Rights Commission leading the effort to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. An able and determined negotiator, she clashed frequently with Soviet delegates over the definition of human liberties. In the process, she pushed the State Department to recognize that human rights are not only civil and political rights, but social and economic rights too. The Declaration was Eleanor’s proudest achievement at the U.N. It created the modern definition of human rights. Today it is the standard for establishing norms governing international behavior regarding the rights of individuals. Eleanor’s duties as a delegate to the United Nations included many trips abroad to London, Paris and Geneva. Eleanor received several gifts during these trips.

Eleanor’s duties as a delegate to the United Nations included many trips abroad to London, Paris and Geneva. Eleanor received several gifts during these trips including this academic stole and cap presented in November 1948 when ER was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Lyon, France. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1949.101.4.1.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1949.101.4.2.

A lithograph of The American Church of Paris by Frank Milton Armington. Presented to ER by the church’s minister, Clayton E. Williams, in December 1951. The print hung in the living room of ER’s NYC apartment until her death. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1992.1.69.

A color print of the painting by Frank Beresford of Eleanor Roosevelt addressing the United Nations in London, England, on February 12, 1946. Inscribed and presented to ER by the artist. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2006.229.2.

A tortoise shell box presented to ER by an English woman as a token of appreciation in the winter of 1946. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1968.25.40.

A silver United Nations medallion presented to ER by the government of France. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1949.102.1.

A watercolor of the Rue des Corps-Saints in Geneva’s Old Town by Harry Urban. Presented to ER by the artist in April 1951. The painting hung in the living room of ER’s NYC apartment until her death. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1992.1.72.

A group of French commemorative medallions, including one for FDR, from the government of France given to ER during her 1951-52 trip. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1952.329.

Eleanor Roosevelt, as chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, opens the session at Geneva, Switzerland. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 56-471(25).

Eleanor Roosevelt speaking before United Nations in "Central Hall, Westminster" London, England. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 56-480(1).

Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English), Lake Success, New York. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 64-165.

Eleanor Roosevelt at the United Nations, wearing headphones. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 65-732.

Eleanor Roosevelt at the United Nations. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx CT 74-53.

Eleanor Roosevelt in Germany
Eleanor made a trip to Germany in 1946 to visit refugee camps in Frankfurt and Berlin. As always, she chronicled her journey in her “My Day” columns: "My visit to Frankfurt was packed so full of emotions, it is hard to give you an adequate idea of what I saw and how I felt. Yesterday morning, we visited the Zeilsheim Jewish displaced-persons camp. It is one of the best, since the people are living in houses previously occupied by Germans. In these houses, each little family has a room to itself. Often a family must cross a room occupied by another in order to enter or leave the house, but there are doors and walls to separate them. If they like, they may bring food from the camp kitchen to their rooms and eat in what they call “home.” They made me a speech at a monument they have erected to the six million dead Jewish people. I answered from an aching heart. When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Someone asked a man, who looked old but couldn’t have been really old, about his family. This was his answer: “They were made into soap.” They had been burned to death in a concentration camp. Outside the school, the children greeted me. They told me a little boy of ten was the camp singer. He looked six. He had wandered into camp one day with his brother, all alone, so he was the head of his family. He sang for me—a song of his people—a song of freedom. Your heart cried out that there was no freedom—and where was hope, without which human beings cannot live? There is a feeling of desperation and sorrow in this camp which seems beyond expression. An old woman knelt on the ground, grasping my knees. I lifted her up, but could not speak. What could one say at the end of a life which had brought her such complete despair?"
FDR Memorial, London
This statue is a small-scale model of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Grosvenor Square, London, England.  It was presented to Eleanor Roosevelt by the Pilgrims Society when she travelled to London for the unveiling of the Memorial statue on April 12, 1948—the third anniversary of FDR’s death. Both statues were made by British sculptor Sir William Reid Dick. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote of the memorial in her “My Day” column: "The statue of my husband in Grosvenor Square will be a constant reminder of the fact that the British and the Americans fought their way together through the dark days of the war. But I hope it will also recall to those who visit the square that my husband hoped our cooperation would continue in peacetime and would help to make the machinery of the United Nations work."
Eleanor in Paris
Eleanor with Ernest Gross and P.C. Jessup arriving at the Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France, September 22, 1948.
Eleanor's 1950 European Trip
In June of 1950, Eleanor, accompanied by Malvina Thompson, Elliott, Chandler and Elliott (Jr.) Roosevelt, traveled to Oslo, Norway, for the unveiling of a statue of FDR. Their travels continued to include stops in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, England, and Belgium. In her “My Day” column from July 4, 1950 Eleanor said of the trip: "It seems incredible that one can pack so much into such a short period of time and come away with so many impressions and recollections of the different countries. Just now though, I am thinking of how wonderful it is to be at home, back in one’s country, in one’s own home with one’s own family and friends. It is always on these occasions, when I have been abroad and return to this country, that I become more aware of how precious is my citizenship."

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Crown Prince & Princess of Norway, their children, Ambassador & Mrs. Charles U. Bay, Elliott Roosevelt, Chandler Roosevelt and Elliott Roosevelt, Jr. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-10:5(7).

Eleanor Roosevelt converses with Miss Dorothy E. Spofford, Director of Library Services at the Stockholm USIE Office, Stockholm, Sweden. FDR Library Photograph Collection. NPx 51-115:10(10).

Eleanor Roosevelt visits worker's housing in Norway. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-10:5(11).

While in Norway, she was presented with these three handmade dolls by one of the makers, Hilda S. Ege of Oslo. Each doll is shown wearing the traditional attire of the people of the Hardanger district of Norway. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1951.11.11.1.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1951.11.11.2.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1951.11.12.

During her visit to Sweden, Eleanor was presented with the Prince Carl Medal, the award for national or international humanitarian activity. The medal is named for Prince Carl of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Västergötland (1861-1951), brother to King Gustaf V. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1950.101.1.

Eleanor Roosevelt in Yugoslavia
While on her way home from Japan in June 1953 Eleanor made a stop in Yugoslavia. During her visit she traveled to Brionia to meet with Josip Tito, President of Yugoslavia. Eleanor recounted parts of that trip in her autobiography: "Next morning I arrived at the President’s villa alone promptly at ten o’clock, riding in a Victoria. There were no obvious signs of guards or police near the villa, although no doubt the marshal is protected in an unobtrusive way, as our White House is protected by the Secret Service men…As I entered, a young-looking man came across the room to greet me. For a few moments, I could not believe that this was Marshal Tito because he seemed far too youthful. It was only after he had greeted me warmly and I had seated myself on a sofa beside him that I was able to observe that his hair was graying and there were deep lines of experience in his strongly molded face. He has great charm and a strong personality. His jaw juts out and he speaks in the manner of a man who gives orders and expects to be obeyed. But he does have a sense of humor and he was pleasant to me, and he conveyed the impression of speaking frankly and honestly…Later we all went down to the dock where we got into a speedboat to go to a small island that Marshal Tito uses as a retreat when he wishes to be alone. The marshal himself piloted one speedboat, taking me with him, and seemed to get a great deal of fun out of it. Still later in the afternoon, we took a short trip on the stat yacht in the Adriatic. The security officers surrounding Marshal Tito were obviously nervous about the possibility of kidnapping, and the ship was accompanied by armed vessels while military airplanes were constantly overhead or nearby."

Eleanor Roosevelt and Josip Broz Tito at Brioni, Yugoslavia. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-144(5).

Eleanor Roosevelt and Josip Broz Tito at Brioni, Yugoslavia. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 55-144(8).

Eleanor Visits the Soviet Union
Two of Eleanor’s traveling companions during the post-White House years were Dr. David and Edna Gurewitsch. The Gurewitschs were close friends of Eleanor, and David was Eleanor’s personal physician from the late 1940’s on. During the many years of their friendship, they corresponded regularly and travelled together to Israel, Pakistan, India, Greece, Yugoslavia, France, Switzerland, and the Soviet Union. Dr. Gurewitsch took hundreds of photographs of the former First Lady during these trips. In 2002, Edna Gurewitsch published Kindred Souls: The Friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and David Gurewitsch. The book recounts the relationship between Eleanor and David and includes many stories of their travels together. The following passage describes a trip taken by Eleanor and the Gurewitsch’s to the Soviet Union in 1957: "We were staying at the National Hotel, where the WFUNA meetings were to be held. Situated on Red Square, with a view of the vast Kremlin beyond, it was extremely impressive and had doubtlessly been more so when Lenin stayed in the hotel in 1918…Lenin had once lived in the suite we were given. It had a tremendous double-bedded room with bath, and a smaller second bedroom and bath, each room having a door opening onto an imposing sitting room, which the three of us shared…The master bedroom was obviously meant for Mrs. Roosevelt, but she would not hear of occupying it. Over David’s and my protests, she insisted that we two would not feel as lost in it as she would. Later, as we prepared to leave the Soviet Union, we learned that, out of respect for Mrs. Roosevelt, the government had had the bedroom furniture used by President Roosevelt during the Yalta Conference with Stalin and Churchill flown to the National Hotel in Moscow for her use. It was a truly grand gesture, and subtle, too, the information coming as it did at the end of our stay. The thought pleased Mrs. Roosevelt, though David and I cringed at the news, having used the furniture ourselves."

Eleanor Roosevelt and Nikita Khrushchev. Copyright: Dr. A. David Gurewitsch.

Eleanor Roosevelt waits to see the Lenin-Stalin Mausoleum in Red Square. Copyright: Dr. A. David Gurewitsch

Eleanor Roosevelt waits to see the Lenin-Stalin Mausoleum in Red Square. Copyright: Dr. A. David Gurewitsch

South America
FDR in Brazil
Several weeks after winning his second presidential election, FDR boarded the cruiser USS Indianapolis for a month long “Good Neighbor” cruise to South America. On November 27, 1936, the President stopped at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he met with Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas.

During this visit, President and Mrs. Vargas presented FDR with a stunning gift for First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt— a 1,298 carat aquamarine. This remarkable stone was from the Vargas’ private collection and was the largest cut stone of its kind at the time. It was presented in an art deco style box, custom made by jeweler Casa Oscar Machado. The stone was found in a mine in the State of Minas Gerais, about 880 miles from Rio de Janeiro. The mine, known as Laranjeira (Orange), was later renamed Pedra Azul (Blue Stone) for its rich finds. The rough stone, weighing 1.3 kilograms, was brought to cutter Gustav Reitbauer of Amsterdam Limited, purveyor of precious gemstones. It yielded two cut stones—the one that was given to the First Lady and another, at 865 carats, was sold to the Maharadja of Kaputala. In 1947, the aquamarine caused a minor controversy for Mrs. Roosevelt when syndicated columnist and radio personality Drew Pearson accused her of trying to sell the piece after she made an attempt to discover its value. ER ultimately decided to donate the precious stone to the Roosevelt Library and wrote of the incident in her autobiography This I Remember: “I think it does interest people and perhaps does serve a good purpose by symbolizing the kindness and generosity of Brazilian feeling toward our country.” FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.115.1.

A 1937 view of Barra da Tijuca, western borough of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4295(26)

Crowds assembled to greet President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the USS Indianapolis arrives at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November27, 1937. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4295(175)

American and Brazilian flags adorned Avenida Rio Branco during FDR’s visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 27, 1937. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4295(148)

Presidents Roosevelt and Vargas on the Avenida Rio Branco just after leaving the USS Indianapolis, November 27, 1937. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4295(224).

Eleanor visits Central and South America
In March 1944, Eleanor Roosevelt undertook another major international travel trip. Eleanor made a 13,000 mile trip to visit troops at various army and navy bases in Latin America. Her trip included stops in Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 

While visiting Central and South America, Eleanor received a number of gifts including this gold pin representing the coat of arms of Czechoslovakia given to ER by the Czechoslovakia Legation of Caracas, Venezuela. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1948.92.40.

These prints by José María Roura Oxandaberro were presented to ER in Caracas, Venezuela. This print is of the home of Simón Bolívar. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1338.7.

Print "Fuente Colonial." FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1339.12.

The Order of Vasco Núñez de Balboa medal, given for distinguished diplomatic services, conferred upon Eleanor Roosevelt by the government of Panama. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1955.84.1.

This large silver platter was given to Eleanor by the Brazilian Navy. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1968.25.12.

Eleanor Roosevelt pays surprise visit to nurses and attendants of Santo Tomas Hospital, Panama City during her tour of Army and Navy Stations during her trip to the Caribbean and South America. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 49-136:1(37).

Eleanor Roosevelt awarding medal to US sailor in Brazil, during trip to Central and South America. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:8(35).

Eleanor Roosevelt eating with American troops during her tour of Central and South America. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:8(117).

Eleanor Roosevelt during her trip to military posts throughout Central and South America. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115a.

Eleanor Roosevelt with servicemen during trip to Central and South America. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 52-119(28).

Eleanor Roosevelt visits Chile and Peru
These two flags were presented to Eleanor Roosevelt on November 2, 1952, in Santiago, Chile, by the daughter of the incoming President, Carlos Ibáñez del Campo. As head of the official United States delegation, Eleanor was in Santiago for the inauguration of General Ibáñez’s second presidency. On her way home from Chile, Eleanor made a stop in Peru. This sterling silver tray was given to her by Ernesto Romero of Lima, Peru, to commemorate her visit.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1209.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1210.

On her way home from Chile, Eleanor made a stop in Peru. This sterling silver tray was given to her by Ernesto Romero of Lima to commemorate her visit. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1968.25.21.

Mrs. Harold H. Tittmann, wife of U.S. Ambassador to Peru, greeting Mrs. Roosevelt at Lima airport on her arrival from Santiago de Chile. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 68-155(4).

Antarctica
Antarctica
This small American flag was carried by American aviator and explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd during his historic trip to the North Pole in 1926, during his trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, over the South Pole in 1929, and over Roosevelt Island and other territories in 1929 and 1934. Byrd presented the flag to FDR in 1934.
Visits of Foreign Dignitaries and Diplomats to the United States
Swedish Royals
During their tour of the United States in the summer of 1938, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Louise of Sweden visited the Roosevelts on two occasions. Early in July, they stopped in Hyde Park where they enjoyed a quiet weekend complete with a hot dog picnic at Val-Kill. The Prince and Princess presented the Roosevelts with this Swedish crystal vase made by Simon Gatz and designed by Lawrence A. Steinhardt, US Minister to Sweden. Mrs. Roosevelt wrote of the visit in her July 5, 1938, “My Day” column: "In addition, the Crown Princess gave many people who had served her small gifts, which were deeply appreciated and I know will always be treasured. It is always a marvelous thing to me to see how thoughtful and kind people who spend their lives more or less on parade, manage to be. No one could have been simpler or more attractive than this particular royalty, and everyone with her seemed to have the same desire to think of others and make them enjoy themselves. It occurred to me, however, that it must be rather difficult to travel around with enough gifts for any contingency, and to vary them must require a great deal of imagination. A few days later, the royal couple traveled to Washington, D.C., where they again met with President Roosevelt, this time at the White House. On the evening of July 4, they all enjoyed tea together on the South Portico along with Prince Gustaf’s son Prince Bertil, Swedish Minister to the US Wollmar Boström, and others."
Crown Prince & Princess of Denmark
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Ingrid of Denmark visited the Roosevelts in April and May of 1939. While in Hyde Park the royals attended the opening of the Rhinebeck Post Office as well as a picnic at FDR’s Top Cottage.

This silver urn was presented to FDR by the then Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, later Their Majesties King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid, in remembrance of their visit to Hyde Park in the Spring of 1939. This urn was made by Georg Jensen of Copenhagen, Denmark, and designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, brother of Princess Ingrid. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1946.34.2.

Picnic for Danish royalty at Hill-Top cottage, Hyde Park, New York. Crown Princess Ingrid is seated next to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 78-12(3).

Picnic for Danish royalty at Hill-Top cottage, Hyde Park, New York. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 78-12(5).

Picnic for Danish royalty at Hill-Top cottage, Hyde Park, New York. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 78-12(6).

Norwegian Royals
After spending time in the spring of 1939 touring the United States, Crown Prince Olav and Princess Märtha of Norway came to New York in April to dedicate the Norwegian exhibit at the World’s Fair. They made a stop in Hyde Park to have a visit with the President’s family and attend what was becoming the customary Roosevelt picnic at the newly completed Top Cottage.

In commemoration of the visit, the royal couple sent the Roosevelts this Royal de Luxe Centrum Radio, Type GW116, by A.B. Gylling & Co., which FDR used in the White House. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.741.

They also gifted this gold demitasse coffee set made by David Andersen. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.8.66.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Crown Prince and Princess of Norway at Hill-Top Cottage, Hyde Park, New York. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4185(54).

British Royal Visit
“I think it would be an excellent thing for Anglo-American relations if you could visit the United States.” -Franklin Roosevelt to King George VI, September 17, 1938. With war looming, FDR searched for ways to bolster ties with democratic nations opposing Hitler. When he invited England’s King George VI for a state visit in June 1939, the message was clear. No reigning British monarch had ever visited America. The invitation signaled a new era in Anglo-American cooperation. FDR and ER planned every detail to ensure the King won sympathy and support. Their efforts paid off.  The public heartily welcomed the King and Queen in Washington. The royals visited Mount Vernon, where the King laid a wreath at George Washington’s grave. Later, they accompanied the Roosevelts to Hyde Park, where they enjoyed simple American pleasures, including a hot dog picnic. FDR and King George developed a real rapport. More important, press coverage of the royal visit fostered public sympathy with Britain. During the British Royal visit of June 1939, King George VI president FDR with this House of Windsor gold inkwell, made by Garrard & Co. Ltd. of London.

Route map of the British Royal Train during the June 1939 British Royal visit. President's Secretary's File, FDR Library.

Menu for the picnic with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain held at Top Cottage in Hyde Park, New York. Office of Social Entertainments, FDR Library.

King George VI at the picnic at Top Cottage, seated with Sara Delano Roosevelt, NY Governor Herbert Lehman, and Elinor Morgenthau. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:108(4).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with King George VI, Edwin M. Watson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth at Union Station, Washington, D.C. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 58-342.

King George VI president FDR with this House of Windsor gold inkwell, made by Garrard & Co. Ltd. of London. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1946.34.1.

Winston Churchill
“It is fun to be in the same decade with you.” -Franklin Roosevelt to Winston Churchill, January 1942. The friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill formed the core of the Anglo-American alliance during World War II. On September 11, 1939—ten days after Germany invaded Poland— FDR wrote a confidential letter to Churchill, who had just entered the British cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty. Roosevelt wanted to open a direct line of communication with him. He encouraged Churchill to “keep me in touch personally with anything you want me to know about.” FDR’s note was the start of an extraordinary six-year correspondence between the two men that totaled almost 2000 messages. Between 1941 and 1945, they would also spend 113 days together, beginning with an August 1941 meeting in the North Atlantic and ending at the Yalta Conference in February 1945. Churchill made visits to the United States in 1941, 1942, 1943 & 1944, including a trip to Washington, D.C. shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Leighton McCarthy, MacKenzie King, Lord Halifax, T.V. Soong and Manuel Quezon in Washington, D.C. meeting of Pacific War Council. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3868(742).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill in the west hall, 2nd floor of White House, Washington, D.C. Photograph by William Donner Roosevelt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:4193.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Washington, D.C. in siren suit with Harry Hopkins on south grounds of the White House. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 49-164:211.

Winston Churchill at Val-Kill, Hyde Park, New York. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 52-34.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt seated in Oval Office of the White House with Prime Minister Winston Churchill at their joint press conference. Press Secretary Stephen Early is seated in the background. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 59-124.

President Franklin D. Roosvelt at Hill-Top cottage with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Harriman. Photograph by Margaret Suckley. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 73-113:104.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the south portico of the White House, Washington, DC. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 74-20(492).

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill fishing at Shangri-La, Maryland. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:1535.

President of the Philippines
President Manuel Quezón of the Commonwealth of the Philippines was forced to evacuate his own country in February of 1942 upon the invasion of Japanese forces. He left his country in the hands of his military advisor and personal friend General Douglas MacArthur. Upon arriving in the United States in May of 1942, President Quezón and his family were guests of the White House. Not long after his arrival, President Quezón addressed both houses of the US Congress fervently arguing for relief at the Philippine front. Quezón and his family eventually settled in the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., were they resided until his death in 1944.

Quezón presented Roosevelt with this carved wood sculpture of a carabao water buffalo and farmer wearing a salakót palm hat. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1941.4.25.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Manuel Quezon of the Philippines at President Quezon's arrival. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 61-431.

President of Peru
On May 7-8, 1942, Manuel Carlos Prado y Ugarteche, the president of Peru, and his son, Manuel Garland, were guests at the White House during their tour of the United States. President Prado presented FDR with a gift of 30 pieces of pre-Columbian polychrome pottery from the Museum of Anthropology in Lima, Julio C. Tello, Director.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1942.348.75.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1942.348.77.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1942.348.85.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1942.348.91.

FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1942.348.93.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt welcomes President Manuel Prado of Peru at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 48-22:3714(5).

King George II of Greece
On June 10, 1942, Franklin and Eleanor welcomed King George II of Greece for an almost two week visit to the United States. While visiting in Hyde Park, King George II spent time at Top Cottage with FDR and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. Eleanor wrote about the visit in her “My Day” column: "Yesterday afternoon the King of Greece was received at the White House on the South Lawn by the President and his Cabinet, with Justice Stone and Congressional Representatives attending. I was very proud of the formal salute given by our Army and Navy boys and the playing of the two national anthems by the Navy Band. It made a very charming ceremony of welcome. We sat on the South Porch, had tea and talked for a little while. The dinner in the evening was entirely official. The President, both last night and this morning, had an opportunity to get to know this ruler of a country which is today undergoing such terrible hardships. Of all the countries in Europe, Greece seems to be suffering more from lack of food than any other."

This silver beaker was purchased in London in 1942 by King George II of Greece and subsequently given to FDR in September 1942 in commemoration of the King’s visit to the United States the previous June. The beaker was made by Isaac Anthony, a goldsmith in Newport, Rhode Island, 1690-1773. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1943.128.1.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt with Crown Princess Martha of Norway and King George II of Greece at Hilltop cottage Hyde Park, New York. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 73-113:95

President and Mrs. Roosevelt chatting with King George II of Greece shortly after the monarch arrived at the White House. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 61-437.

King Peter of Yugoslavia
King Peter II of Yugoslavia evacuated his home country following the Axis invasion in April 1941. He eventually settled in England for the duration of the war. He came to the US and paid a visit to President Roosevelt in June 1942.

Seating chart from dinner held for King Peter of Yugoslavia. Office of Social Entertainments, FDR Library.

For Christmas later that year, the King presented Roosevelt with this gold and jade cigarette box. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.2.3.

Royal Family of the Netherlands
Bravely waiting until the last moment, the Royal Family of the Netherlands barely escaped Hitler’s clutches as the German armies swept through their homeland in May 1940. Queen Wilhelmina set up residence in London, while Princess Juliana and her family came to North America, splitting their time between Canada and the United States. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt became close friends with Juliana, and FDR especially adored her daughters Trixie and Irene. In the summer of 1942, Princess Juliana leased a small estate in Lee, Massachusetts, where she and her young children lived for several months. The estate was close enough for the Roosevelts to drive there from Hyde Park for lunch or tea. The Royals also regularly visited Hyde Park. Seeing that the young princesses were having trouble with their swimming, FDR gave Trixie and Irene each a set of waterwings to help them float. In this charming letter, Trixie and Irene thank the President for his gift and for the Roosevelts’ hospitality on recent picnics in Hyde Park. They also express their affection for FDR’s dog, Fala.   Trixie went on to become Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, having succeeded her mother Queen Juliana to the throne in 1980.

Letter from Princess Beatrix (Trixie) and Princess Irene to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, thanking him for his gift and for the Roosevelts’ hospitality on recent picnics in Hyde Park. They also express their affection for FDR’s dog, Fala. President's Secretary's File, FDR Library. (2 pages)

Picnic for Princess Juliana of the Netherlands at Val-kill, Hyde Park, New York. L-R: SS, SS, Princess Irene, Princess Beatrix, Princess Juliana, Mrs. J.R. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt in background with unidentified man, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, children's nurse, Grace Tully, Ethel Roosevelt (Mrs. FDR, Jr.). Photograph by Margaret Suckley. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 73-113:31

President of Ecuador
President Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Río of Ecuador and his son Carlos Agustin Arroyo were guests of the White House on November 23-24, 1942, near the beginning of their tour of the United States. During their stay, President Arroyo presented FDR with this tortoise shell chest decorated with ivory inlay made by Jorge Cueva of Quito. The center panel of the chest opens to reveal a secret compartment. FDR spoke about the visit at one of his press conferences saying: "Well, we had an awfully interesting discussion, as I have had with a number of other heads of American Governments. We talked about two things. The first, of course, was the immediate and present problem of the war, and the general solidarity of the 21 Nations, which is a very high percentage of solidarity. And second, about the future, about trying to get an economy for the North and South Americas and Central America which will raise their standards- the standards and the wealth of the poorer Nations, and the smaller Nations, without hurting our economy or the economy of the larger or richer Nations as they exist at the present time."
Madame Chiang Kai-shek
During Madame Chiang Kai-Shek’s visit to the White House in 1943 she presented the Roosevelts with various gifts from China. Eleanor wrote about Mme. Chiang’s visit in her autobiography saying: "I saw another side of Madame Chiang while she was in the White House, and I was much amused by the reactions of the men with whom she talked. They found her charming, intelligent, and fascinating, but they were all a little afraid of her, because she could be a coolheaded statesman when she was fighting for something she deemed necessary to China and to her husband’s regime; the little velvet hand and the low, gentle voice disguised a determination that could be as hard as steel"

The gifts brought by Madame Chiang Kai-Shek included this hand embroidered silk coat for Eleanor. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2005.1.1.

Jade and platinum cufflinks given to FDR. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2008.12.1.

Gold cigarette case also for FDR. The case was engraved in the inside with Mme. Chiang’s full name, Chiang Soong May Ling. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1968.25.50.

Note from Mme. Chiang translating the inscription on the box. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1968.25.50.

Porcelain bowl given to the Roosevelts. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 2004.11.2.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Madame Chiang Kai-shek during Madame Chaing's visit to the White House during WWII. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 72-18:306.

President of Paraguay
In June of 1943, the President of Paraguay, Major General Higinio Morínigo Martínez, visited the United States as a guest of the US Government. As a guest at the White House, he presented FDR with this Maté set made by G. Jimenez of Caacupé. Maté is a caffeine infused drink made from dried yerba leaves. It is customarily served in South American countries, including Paraguay. Maté cups, such as this one, are made of calabash gourds. The straws, or bombillas, are traditionally made of silver.
Saudi Arabian Princes
On September 30, 1943, Prince Faisal, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, his brother Prince Khalid paid a visit to the White House. They brought with them a gift from their father, King Abdulaziz Al-Saud—a sword made of Damascus steel with an ivory, gold, and diamond hilt.
Charles de Gaulle
The submarine France is a working aluminum model, loosely based on the French submarine Surcouf. It was built by an unknown French petty officer in Bizerte, Tunisia, while it was under occupation. It includes French Tunisian coins used as washers below deck. Given to FDR by General Charles de Gaulle during a visit to Washington, D.C., in July 1944, President Roosevelt instructed his grandson Curtis—who was living in the White House at the time—to bring the submarine to the David Taylor Model Basin. There Curtis witnessed the sub in action as it submerged, fired its guns, and launched its torpedoes. The president then gave the model to Curtis. When Eleanor Roosevelt suggested that he could not give away a state gift, FDR said de Gaulle was president of the French Committee for Liberation, not a head of state.
President of France
On April 4, 1951, the President of France made a visit to Hyde Park. After visiting the Roosevelt home and Library, and laying a wreath on FDR’s grave, President Auriol and his party visited Eleanor’s cottage, “Val-Kill,” for lunch. At the end of lunch President Auriol presented Eleanor with this Order of Commander of the Legion of Honor. In her “My Day” column, Eleanor wrote about the visit and the medal saying: "To my complete surprise at the end of lunch President Auriol presented me with the Order of Commander of the Legion of Honor. It is such a highly coveted honor, and I do not feel that I in any way earned it, that I accepted it, with a very great humility. It is a great pleasure to receive such an honor. I was also happy to receive a photograph of President Auriol, for I look upon him as one of the statesmen who has helped to keep the world on an even keel in this extremely difficult period…I said goodby to the President and Madame Auriol and Mr. Schuman with a real sense of gratitude for having been allowed to entertain even briefly such people for whom I have much affection and respect. I hope they will look back on their visit to the United States with real satisfaction, for I am sure it has done much to keep our two nations together."

French Legion of Honor Medal. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1951.116.12.

Eleanor Roosevelt, President Vincent Auriol of France and guests at a luncheon at Val-Kill Cottage, Hyde Park, New York. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 53-212(11).

Eleanor Roosevelt receives the Order of the Commander of the French Legion of Honor after lunch at Val-Kill, presented by President of France, Vincent Auriol, Madame Auriol to right of Eleanor. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 53-212(12).

Credits: Story

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum: http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/

This project was originally created in the summer of 2014 as a social media campaign on the FDR Library's Tumblr page: fdrlibrary.tumblr.com.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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