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VIRTUAL TALK: “Eleanor and Hick” with Susan Quinn
March 15, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm$10.00
ELEANOR AND HICK
The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady
They couldn’t have been more different. Eleanor came from one of the nation’s most powerful political families; her marriage to her distant cousin Franklin Roosevelt took her straight to the White House. Lorena Hickok, known as Hick, grew up in rural South Dakota and worked as a servant girl after escaping from an abusive home. They met in 1932 when the buttoned-up Eleanor entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. By that time, she had put her deep disappointment in her marriage behind her and developed an independent life—now threatened by the public role she would be forced to play. Hick, now a feisty and respected campaign reporter for the Associated Press, was her lifeline. Over the next thirty years, these fiercely compassionate women developed an extraordinary relationship and inspired each other to right the wrongs of the turbulent era in which they lived. During the Depression, Hick reported from the nation’s poorest areas for the WPA; Eleanor used these reports to lobby her husband for New Deal programs. Hick also encouraged Eleanor to turn their frequent letters into her popular and long-lasting syndicated column “My Day” and befriend the female journalists who became her champions. When Eleanor’s tenure as First Lady ended with FDR’s death, Hick pushed her to continue to use her popularity for good—advice Eleanor took by leading the UN’s postwar Human Rights Commission. This is a warm, intimate account of two women who, at different points, were lovers, confidantes, professional advisors, and caring friends. Together, they played significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.
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