Issue 9-21-14 Website - page 11

Eleanor, Adelaide andCaroline
The Historical Society’s
recent bus tour startedatEleanor
Roosevelt’s home, Valkill, in
HydePark, NewYork.
The or ientat ion f i lm
reacquainted us with the life of
thisvery remarkablewoman. As
we toured Valkill, I mentioned
toour group thatMrs. Roosevelt
had visited LeRoy in 1934. The
First Lady had been in Buffalo
on October 24th and Adelaide
Woodward, who was the Vice
Chair of the Genesee County
Democratic Party (and Donald
Woodward’s wife), sent a car to
Buffalo to bringMrs. Roosevelt
The motorcade was escorted
byNewYorkStatePoliceand the
an hour late. Adelaide’s house
blue bunting. A group of ladies,
including Mr. Spry, wife of the
superintendent of schools, Mrs.
SchuylerWells, Mrs. Rogerson,
Mrs. Stuart Johnson and Mrs.
Edward Perkins, wife of the
editorof the
gathered inside the Woodward
home. It was reported that three
thousand people were in the
front yard.
The First Lady was greeted
by music from the LeRoy High
School band and the American
LegionDrumCorps. On the lawn
was aDemocraticdonkeywitha
“Rally Day” blanket. Eleanor
waspresentedabouquetof roses
by little Eileen McDermott.
Accompanying the First Lady,
was Caroline O’Day who was
running forCongress. Shewas a
remarkable lady inherown right.
Caroline O’Day had been
convinced by her husband to
become involvedwithwomen’s
suffrage and the pacifist
movement. His sudden death
in 1916, did not sway her from
continuing with social issues.
She joined forces with Eleanor
Roosevelt, Nancy Cook and
MarionDickerman and the four
women, known as the “Valkill
The Women’s
Democratic News
. She was
involved with the League of
of social reform organizations.
Inher bid for election in1934
shebecame involvedwithastate
network of Democratic women
such as Amel ia
Earhart and Eleanor
Roosevelt to canvass
New York’s voters.
The group became
known as the “Flying
O ’ D a y w a s
successful in her
bid for election
to Congress as a
Representative at
large in 1934 and
served four terms
in Washington.
She advocated for
progressive causes,
including chi ld
labor protection, employment
opportunities for the disabled,
immigration rights and anti-
lynching legislation.
In 1939, Caroline O’Day
was at the side of the famous
Anderson when she sang at the
Lincoln Memorial after being
banned by the Daughters of the
American Revolution to sing
in Constitution Hall. Caroline
O’Day and Eleanor Roosevelt
would remain involved inpolitics
untilO’Day’s death in 1943.
EleanorRoosevelt didnot stay
long in LeRoy. She had to be in
Rochester for a reception and
dinner, but as she was leaving,
she said shewouldenjoycoming
back to spendmore time. As far
as anyone knows, she never did.
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