Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, the strongest, most popular first lady in the history of the United States, and a prominent politician and humanitarian in her own right, knew exactly how her last journey will look like. After restless life of public activity abundant with crowd, Eleanor wanted a quiet, modest, and private farewell event. She shared these feelings with her closest friends, and although they made clear that her wish was unreal due to her elevated public status and great popularity, Roosevelt insisted that her departure from the world is reserved only to her and her closest friends. When the day of the funeral has finally come, it seemed that the conditions were perfect for fulfilling her last wish. The sky was dark, and although her demise wasn’t kept secret only few people were invited, and light rain ensured a calm, modest ceremony. But few hours before the ceremony, the sixth and youngest son of the Roosevelts invited a limited number of extremely high-profile friends to a requiem feast. Among the diners were the likes of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson. It wasn’t exactly the anonymous, close crowd Eleanor Roosevelt has expected. Bear in mind that unlike today, where updates on everything that happens around the world keep flowing in and nothing remains private, in 1962 a celebrity could imagine a funeral nobody would know of except those invited. Until Roosevelt’s death, only five presidents had a national funeral, and their wives died relatively quietly. But the celebrities continued from the feast to the funeral ceremony and joined other world leaders who attended the funeral home and turned Eleanor Roosevelt’s funeral to an event that gave rise to the American term Power Funeral – a mass funeral, mainly comprised of the most prominent statesmen and politicians, that is covered by mass media and turns into a national commemoration ceremony.

 

Follow the link for the full article and read about the modest, private funeral turning into the American national funeral that found its way to the whole world, including our region.

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