Eleanor Roosevelt visits Chapel Hill, 31 January 1942

Eleanor Roosevelt at Memorial Hall, UNC

This photograph appeared in The Daily Tar Heel on February 1, 1942, captioned, "FIRST LADY OF THE LAND, Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt, sits with University president Frank P. Graham, and Josephus Daniels, Ex-Ambassador to Mexico, at Dean Harriett Elliot's speech to delegates of the post-war planning conference yesterday afternoon." The photograph is shown here as published; a scan of the entire negative is shown below.

On January 31st, 1942 Eleanor Roosevelt visited North Carolina, primarily to attend sessions and speak at Memorial Hall on the second of a two-day, jointly sponsored Carolina Political Union–International Student Service Post-War Planning Conference held at the University of North Carolina.  As Mrs. Roosevelt wrote in her syndicated column, “My Day“:

We had a delightful luncheon at Chapel Hill with President and Mrs. Frank Graham and their guests, heard Miss Harriet Elliott, Dean of the Woman’s College at Greensboro, make an excellent talk before the delegates of the 32 colleges, who had gathered at Chapel Hill under the auspices of the Carolina Political Union and the International Student Service for a two day conference. It was nice to find that both Miss Louise Morley, Conference Secretary of the I.S.S., and Miss Jane Seaver of OCD, had made real friends among so many students from various colleges, who spoke to me about them with real appreciation.

Jane Seaver and I attended one of the forum discussion groups in the afternoon. I saw an excellent civilian defense information service setup in the college library, a very good local defense council control center in the town, had tea at the Presbyterian Church parlor with a number of the delegates, dined in the college cafeteria and spoke and answered questions in the auditorium in the evening, at a meeting which Governor and Mrs. Broughton also attended.

Two uncredited photographs of Mrs. Roosevelt appeared in The Daily Tar Heel the following day, plus a photograph of a speaker from the previous day.  There are eighteen negatives in the Morton collection related to Mrs. Roosevelt’s visit to UNC, including both of the images published in the DTH (which are are not currently in the online collection), so they are represented here in “A View to Hugh.” The lead photograph above is presented as published by the DTH.  Here is the full view:

Eleanor Roosevelt in Memorial Hall (uncropped)

Below is the second Morton photograph of Mrs. Roosevelt published in the DTH, followed by the full negative:

Ridley Whitaker introduces out-of-town delegate to Eleanor Roosevelt

Hugh Morton photograph, shown as cropped in the 1 February 1942 issue of The Daily Tar Heel with the caption, "INTRODUCTION—An out-of-town delegate to the CPU-ISS conference is introduced to Mrs. Roosevelt by Ridley Whitaker, chairman of the CPU yesterday afternoon."

Ridley Whitaker introduces an out-of-town delegate to Eleanor Roosevelt (uncropped).Notice how the cropping almost entirely eliminates the woman walking behind Whitaker?

4 thoughts on “Eleanor Roosevelt visits Chapel Hill, 31 January 1942

  1. I was at Carolina from fall 1949 till spring 51 when I graduated. Sometime during that period Mrs Roosevelt visited our campus & spoke. I went to hear her & was very impressed. I could not wait to write home & tell my parents as they were very good Democrats .My father who was a country doctor was often asked to name the babies he delivered. Once he named twins Roosevelt & Churchill!

  2. The photographs taken by Hugh Morton on January 31, 1942 of the Eleanor Roosevelt visit to UNC must have been among his favorites. They have turned up in 4 of his books plus several other places:.

    “Making A Difference in North Carolina” (1988)
    Page 49 Speaking at UNC
    Page 206 Walking across campus with Frank Porter Graham and Louis Harris..(P081_NTBS3_000899.tif)
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/morton_highlights&CISOPTR=1426&CISOBOX=1&REC=9.

    “Sixty Years with a Camera” (1996)
    Page 2 Walking across campus with Frank Porter Graham and Louis Harris (P081_NTBS3_000899.tif)
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/morton_highlights&CISOPTR=1426&CISOBOX=1&REC=9

    “Hugh Morton’s North Carolina” (2003)
    Page 94 Walking across campus with Frank Porter Graham and Louis Harris (P081_NTBS3_000899.tif)
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/morton_highlights&CISOPTR=1426&CISOBOX=1&REC=9

    “Hugh Morton: North Carolina Photographer” (2006)
    Page 136 With Frank Porter Graham and Josephus Daniels at Memorial Hall Entrance (P081_NTBS3_003224.TIF)
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/morton_highlights&CISOPTR=1307&CISOBOX=1&REC=3

    “Dr. Frank: Life with Frank Porter Graham” by John Ehle (1993)
    Page 70 Walking across campus with Frank Porter Graham and Louis Harris (P081_NTBS3_000899.tif )
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/morton_highlights&CISOPTR=1426&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
    Page 91 With Frank Porter Graham and Josephus Daniels at Memorial Hall Entrance (P081_NTBS3_003224.TIF)
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/morton_highlights&CISOPTR=1307&CISOBOX=1&REC=3

    “Carolina Magazine,” January 1942
    Pages 16-17 Walking across campus with Frank Porter Graham and Louis Harris (P081_NTBS3_000899.tif)
    http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/morton_highlights&CISOPTR=1426&CISOBOX=1&REC=9

    “Carolina Magazine,” March, 1942
    Page 26 and continued on pages 44-45 A parody on the Roosevelt visit by “Louis Harassed” with sketches and photo credit given to “Hugh Borton”

  3. Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the mothers of pro-active women who took things in their hand. She is a good inspiration for women who believe that they should have the same rights as men. I applaud her life achiements, even from her syndicated newspaper column, “My Day”. In her time, most women just stay back behind the men in power. She opted to do more and be more.

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