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Blakeview: Eleanor Roosevelt in New Orleans

The former First Lady visited March 6, 1937

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This week we remember a visit to New Orleans 80 years ago by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. According to press accounts, Roosevelt arrived by train on March 6, 1937 and spoke to a crowd of thousands at Municipal Auditorium. The event was organized by the Spring Fiesta. She stayed at The Roosevelt Hotel, named for President Theodore Roosevelt. In her diary, a copy of which is available online, the first lady said, "There is no place that I know of in the world where the ironwork is more attractive on balconies or in gates than in the old French Quarter ... and I love the old doors and the entrances into the little courtyards." In a Times-Picayune interview, she said of the president, "I know what he thinks fundamentally and I believe he knows what I do, but I would never try to influence an opinion of his, and I don't think he'd ever try to influence me." After leaving New Orleans, Roosevelt visited the State Capitol in Baton Rouge and spoke at LSU. Her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, would make a memorable visit to New Orleans just weeks later. More on that next month.

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