Administrative History

The Eleanor Roosevelt Centennial Commission was established by a joint Congressional resolution, signed by President Reagan on November 21, 1983, to commemorate nationally the centennial of the birth of Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute was charged with coordinating policies and events for the Centennial Commission; its Chair, Trude W. Lash, was also a member of the Commission. New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo made available to the Commission the assistance of the state's Special Projects Office. The day-to-day operations of the Centennial were directed by Fredrica S. Goodman, Director of the New York State Office of Special Projects.

The 13 member Commission included two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two members appointed by the President of the Senate, the Director of the National Park Service, the Archivist of the United States, the Librarian of Congress, the Governor of the state of New York, the County Executive of Dutchess County, the Chairman of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and Eleanor Roosevelt's three surviving children.

The Commission was the prime organizer of nationwide observance in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt. It encouraged and recognized appropriate observances and commemorations and provided advice and assistance to federal, state and local government agencies sponsoring Centennial programs.

Centennial programs included: memorial services at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; opening of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt Study Center and Library in the Netherlands; National Folk Festival, Broadway tribute; birthday celebration at Val-Kill, Hyde Park; United Nations tribute; and conferences, symposiums, lectures, film series, concerts, radio programs, parades, balls, contests, exhibitions, luncheons, dinners, and commemorative postage stamp and poster.