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.
3. North & Central America
6. South America
8. Visits of Foreign Dignitaries and Diplomats to the United States
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).
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.
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.
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 19126.96.36.199.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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 .
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.
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).
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 19188.8.131.52.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.