Around the World with the Roosevelts

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

By U.S. National Archives

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on their honeymoon at Strathpeffer, Scotland (1905) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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

Koala by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

Australia

Eleanor Roosevelt visiting the South Pacific (1943-09-15) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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 in the South Pacific, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-08-17/1943-09-23, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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).

Eleanor Roosevelt meets with sailors in Bora Bora, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-08-20, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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 Roosevelt speaks during her trip to the South Pacific, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-08-17/1943-09-23, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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Eleanor Roosvelt - trip to South West Pacific. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 51-115:169(157).

Eleanor Roosevelt visiting the South Pacific, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-09-15, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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, Franklin D. Roosevelt to General Douglas MacArthur Letter, Franklin D. Roosevelt to General Douglas MacArthur, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-08-15, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

New Zealand Maori Tiki Charm, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

American Camp near the Mena Housa, Cairo, Egypt. (1943) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

Africa

Franklin D. Roosevelt, General Giraud, General DeGaulle and Winston Churchill (1943-01) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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. 

Moroccan Tiara, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Mohammedan Dagger, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Gold Bracelets, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-01, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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Guestbook from the Casablanca Conference including the first page of signatures. Roosevelt Family Business and Personal Papers, FDR Library.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchil and the Sultan of Morocco, Sidi Mohammed and guests at a dinner for the Sultan (1943-01-22) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, General Giraud, General DeGaulle and Winston Churchill (1943-01) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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)

Achimota Wood Carver (1943) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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.

Ashanti Chief's Court - Queen Mother, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Ashanti Chief's Court - Head Chief, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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The Head Chief. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.32.1.2.

Ashanti Chief's Court - Linguist, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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The Linguist. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.32.1.3.

Ashanti Chief's Court - Umbrella Bearer, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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And the Umbrella Bearer. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1944.32.1.9.

Achimota Wood Carver, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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Achimota Wood Carver, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Horseshoe Found by FDR by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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.

German Ortgies Pistol, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Horseshoe Found by FDR, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill visit the pyramids near Cairo, Egypt (1943-11-23) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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Map of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's trips to the Cairo and Teheran conferences. Map Room Papers, FDR Library.

Handwritten page from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s diary of the Cairo and Teheran conferences, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-11-26, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chiang Kai-Shek and Winston Churchill at the Cairo Conference, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-11-25, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chiang Kai-Shek, Madame Chiang and Winston Churchill at the Cairo Conference, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-11-25, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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).

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill visit the pyramids near Cairo, Egypt, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-11-23, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill visit the pyramids near Cairo, Egypt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 49-164:1290.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill visit the pyramids near Cairo, Egypt, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943-11-23, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill visit the Pyramids near Cairo, Egypt. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 66-94(13).

Franklin D. Roosevelt with King Farouk of Egypt on board USS Quincy (1945-02-13) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Haile Selassie aboard the USS Quincy during the trip to the Yalta Conference. (1945-02-13) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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).

Arabic Cigarette Case, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1943, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

World Globe, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1945, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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And this gold world globe. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1953.1386.

Franklin D. Roosevelt with King Farouk of Egypt on board USS Quincy (1945-02-13) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud (1945-02-14) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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).

Arabian Purple Underdress & Red Harem Dress, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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.

Arabian Dagger and Belt, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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A steel dagger in a gold and diamond encrusted hilt and sheath. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.491.

Case of Perfume Bottles, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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A box of perfumes in hand painted glass bottles. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.503.

Box of Musk Bottles, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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A box of musk. FDR Library Museum Collection, MO 1947.93.504.

Cloisonné Box Containing Ambergris, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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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 Franklin D. Roosevelt at Great Bitter Lake, Egypt. (1945-02-14) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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).

Crowd gathers in Ottawa, Canada for FDR's visit (1943-08-25) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

North & Central America

Franklin D. Roosevelt with FDR, Jr. and John and their model sailboats, Campobello, New Brunswick, Canada (1920) by Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records AdministrationU.S. National Archives

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, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1907, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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Franklin D. Roosevelt canoeing at Campobello. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4078.

Franklin D. Roosevelt with Anna at Campobello, Eleanor in background, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1908, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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Franklin D. Roosevelt with daughter Anna at Campobello, Eleanor in background. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 77-55(103).

Franklin D. Roosevelt with Elliott at Campobello, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1912, From the collection of: U.S. National Archives
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Franklin D. Roosevelt with son Elliott at Campobello. FDR Library Photograph Collection, NPx 47-96:4804(209).