top of page



Eleanor Roosevelt Speech What Libraries Mean To The Nation

In the given excerpt from Roosevelt's speech titled 'what libraries mean to the nation', the sentence 'the children...minds' exemplifies the use of pathos as it employs descriptive words and phrases to display the condition of poor children like 'so poor, so pathetic, struggle to live, feeling right there, etc.' that elicits the emotions of pity, grief, and sympathy in the audience. The audience is able to emotionally connect themselves to the condition of poor children and accept the speaker's claim that education is the only source to make their lives better.

Eleanor Roosevelt Speech What Libraries Mean To The Nation

Download Zip:

What the libraries mean to the nation is fairly obvious to all of us, especially to those who are here this evening. We know that without libraries, without education, which is based largely on libraries, we cannot have an educated people who will carry on successfully our form of government, and it seems to me that what we really are interested in is how we can make this country more conscious of what it has not got, because we do pat ourselves on the back for the things that we have and that we do. I was looking over some maps which were sent to me and I longed to have these maps very much enlarged and put up in many, many places throughout this country, because I do not think that many people know how many states do not spend more than ten cents per capita for library books a year, and how many states have large areas, particularly rural areas, where one cannot get books.

I feel that the care of libraries and the use of books, and the knowledge of books, is a tremendously vital thing, and that we who deal with books and who love books have a great opportunity to bring about something in this country which is more vital here than anywhere else, because we have the chance to make a democracy that will be a real democracy, that will fulfill the vision that Senator King has just given us. It will take on our part imagination and patience and constant interest in awakening interest in other people. But, if we do, I think we shall find that our love of books will bring us a constantly widening audience and constantly more interesting contacts in whatever part of the country we may go.

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms:The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world.The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world.The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants--everywhere in the world.The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world.

That Springwood was the keystone in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's public as well as private life is apparent. In fact, some very dramatic events in American history transpired at Springwood. The following activities are designed to help students understand these assertions.Activity 1: LifestylesDivide the class into teams. Explain that the teams will be researching an aspect of life in the late 19th century, with 1882, the year of Franklin Roosevelt's birth, as the target date. Let the teams choose from a list of broad categories such as: Transportation, Clothing, Food, Home Life, Public Health, Communications, Politics, Industrial Labor, Religion, etc. Ask each team to conduct research in books, magazines, newspapers, photographs, and/or any other sources they can find. Students may use local sites, libraries, historical societies, and the Internet to locate materials applicable to their topic. Direct each group to report on its chosen topic, comparing and contrasting it with contemporary life. Students may present their comparisons through drawings or photographs, written reports, skits involving objects or costumes, charts, computer slide-shows, or other means.After their presentations, ask the class as a whole to discuss the changes in lifestyle that must have occurred during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's lifetime, between 1882 and 1945.Activity 2: Remembering WhenStudents may choose either option in completing this activity.A. Have students team up in pairs to be an interviewer and a cameraperson. Each pair should arrange to conduct an oral history interview with a willing senior citizen who remembers life during the Depression. All students participating in this activity should meet as a group and develop a common list of questions to ask during interviews. Videotaped interviews will have the greatest impact, but snapshots and a written interview in a newspaper article format or an audiotape also provide valuable learning experiences. Ask the teams to share their interviews with the class and to explain what they learned from an eyewitness that they could not learn from a textbook. If there is student and administrative support, consider establishing a school-based repository for oral histories of the Depression.B. Ask students to look for WPA-funded projects still existing in their community. Possibilities include post offices, schools, bridges, parks, stadiums, bandshells, etc. Students may turn to local historical societies, old newspapers, and published guides to WPA projects for help in locating a project. Once the students have identified a project, they should research how and why the project was undertaken in their community. They should describe in words and/or artwork or photography the project as it originally was constructed and as it exists today. They should also assess the impact, if any, that the project had on the community in the past and now. Students should report to the class what they have learned about the WPA in their community.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president in 1933, he came into the White House with a plan. The New Deal had three goals: relief, recovery, and reform. Relief meant that the president wanted to help those in crisis immediately by creating jobs, bread lines, and welfare. Recovery was aimed at fixing the economy and ending the Depression. Reform was President Roosevelt's objective of finding the sources of the Depression and creating a plan so that it would never happen again. When President Roosevelt accepted the nomination for president in 1932, the first line of his acceptance speech said:


bottom of page