Posted by: history591twenty3 | June 5, 2010

June 3, 2010 Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site

      The exploration at Hyde Park contained many new facts (I did not fully understand the extent) about the relationship in the Roosevelt household such as Sara and Eleanor turbulent association and Franklin’s passiveness with dealing with their relationship.  The solution of having three different residences within a mile appeared to solve the problem of dealing with each other, yet they did not deal with the real problem within their relationship.  The Roosevelt’s appeared happy and respected each other yet the dark side of their relationship lingered to the death of Franklin.

     Eleanor and Franklin appeared happy at the beginning of their marriage.  The problem existed with Franklin being a mama’s boy and Sara making sure he remained under her control.  Franklin, proficient in earning a living away from his mother, chooses the easy way by staying with his mother with his wife and children living in her home.  What an impossible situation for Eleanor! 

     Franklin, one of the most powerful man of the world, remained very obedient to his mother.  He instituted many new programs to offset the Depression and later entering the war against Japan and Germany appearing very capable in handling the nation’s problems yet remained indifferent toward the women of his life.  He remained a complicated man to the world but a marshmallow at home. 

     I plan to use this information with my students by stating, he is human and had many faults.  Then I would have the students discuss, “Was Franklin Roosevelt the best man to guide the nation from the Depression and World War 2?  Why or why not?  Did his personal life influence the decisions he made for the different programs of the Depression and World War 2?  Did Sara and Eleanor influence his decisions?  Why or why not?  The last project, the students will watch the movie, Franklin and Eleanor and answer the following questions from the Education Staff, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408.

      What do you think you will see in this motion picture?

List three concepts or ideas that you might expect to see based on the title of the film.   List some people you might expect to see based on the title of the film.

 What is the central message(s) of this motion picture?

 Consider the effectiveness of the film in communicating its message.   As a tool of communication, what are its strengths and weaknesses?

How do you think the filmmakers wanted the audience to respond?

 Does this film appeal to the viewer’s reason or emotion?   How does it make you feel?

 List two things this motion picture tells you about life in the United States at the time it was made:

 Write a question to the filmmaker that is left unanswered by the motion picture.

 What information do you gain about this event that would not be conveyed by a written source?   Be specific.




  1. Dolores:

    What film are you talking about? Do you have a link? A URL perhaps so others can see it too?

  2. Jonathan
    Most of my students are visual learners and I find movies make a big impact in their learning history. The movie I am talking about is the following with reviews:

    Synopsis of Eleanor and Franklin: The Early Years
    The winner of 11 Emmy awards, the made-for-TV Eleanor and Franklin stars Edward Herrmann as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jane Alexander as Eleanor Roosevelt. The film traces the first four decades of the lives of cousins Franklin and Eleanor, beginning with their marriage in 1905. Conflicts loom in the form of FDR’s domineering mother (Rosemary Murphy) and Eleanor’s discovery of an affair between her husband and artist Lucy Mercer (Linda Kelsey). After Franklin is stricken by polio in 1921, Eleanor emerges as a formidable and influential public figure. James Costigan wrote the teleplay for Eleanor and Franklin, which first aired as a two-parter on January 11 and 12, 1976. The film was followed several months later by a multipart sequel, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

    Review Summary
    First aired March 13, 1977, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years was the brilliant follow-up to the equally praiseworthy 1976 TV movie Eleanor and Franklin: The Early Years. The film is framed in a flashback experienced by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (Jane Alexander) while accompanying the casket carrying the body of her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Edward Herrmann) to its final resting place in Hyde Park. Elected in 1933, FDR endeavors to pull the country out of the Depression with the New Deal during his first term, while Eleanor emerges as a formidable public figure in her own right during the second term, tirelessly working on behalf of social change and reforms. Ever under the baleful eye of his mother Sara (Rosemary Murphy), Roosevelt tries to maintain family equilibrium in the White House as he seeks an unprecedented third term. Sara dies in December of 1941, two days before Roosevelt, in his “Day of Infamy” speech, declares war on Japan. Despite health problems, FDR successfully pursues a fourth term in 1944; he dies in office in April of 1945, a scant few months before the end of World War II. Despite her long-standing displeasure over her husband’s long-ago affair with artist Lucy Mercer (Linda Kelsey), a stiff-lipped Eleanor puts on a brave front when Roosevelt dies in the company of Deakins at a health spa in Georgia. Based on Joseph P. Lash’s Pulitzer prize-winning biography, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years earned Emmies for “Outstanding Special” and for director Daniel Petrie. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
    Movie Details
    Title: Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years
    Running Time: 152 Minutes


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