Jimmy Carter photo

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site Statement on Signing H.R. 5562 Into Law.

May 26, 1977

It is an honor for me to have this opportunity today. I am signing into law the first addition to the National Park System under my administration, and I am deeply touched that this new addition is to be a living memorial to the former First Lady, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt. This law establishes her home, Val-Kill, in Hyde Park, N.Y., as the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.

Eleanor Roosevelt was known not only for her deep compassion for her fellow human beings but also for the tremendous energy she expended in so many important causes of her day, as she shattered the traditional roles which First Ladies before her had adopted. In 1962, President Truman referred to her as "The First Lady of the World." To .say that she was an active First Lady is an understatement.

She made one of her greatest contributions to the world during her service at the United Nations, where she chaired the Commission on Human Rights of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and participated in drafting the United Nations covenants and the historic Declaration of Human Rights. These tasks symbolized the rightful role which women can play throughout the world.

I think that it was in the area of human rights that Mrs. Roosevelt made her greatest contributions. In her many projects, she appealed to the best qualities and instincts of humankind and fought to break down the barriers of prejudice, discrimination, and injustice which divided people against each other. Her memory stands as an inspiration to us today as we continue to strive for the higher ideals which she articulated. I take part in this ceremony today with a sense of great respect as we honor Mrs. Roosevelt. I hope that this site will serve as an inspiration for our generation and the generations to come.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 5562 is Public Law 95-32, approved May 26.

Jimmy Carter, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site Statement on Signing H.R. 5562 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243252

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