A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America: Eleanor Roosevelt Day, 2000 (10/11/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                        (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

For Immediate Release                                               October
11, 2000

                        ELEANOR ROOSEVELT DAY, 2000

                               - - - - - - -


                              A PROCLAMATION

     Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most influential figures of the 20th
century, and her life spanned some of the most dramatic and challenging
events in modern history. Steadfast in her commitment to America,
democracy, and a world that honored human rights, she told Americans across
the Nation, "We are on trial to show what democracy means."  Through the
Great Depression, two world wars, the Holocaust, the creation of the United
Nations, the Cold War, and the civil rights movement, her singular
integrity and clear moral vision helped forge a better life for people
around the world.

     Eleanor Roosevelt was our longest-serving First Lady, and her
dedicated efforts as a political leader, humanitarian, social activist, and
journalist have made her an icon to millions.  During the 12 years of
Franklin Delano Roosevelt?s Administration, she traveled tirelessly around
the country, listening to the American people?s problems, concerns, joys,
and fears.  She saw firsthand the ravages that poverty, greed, ignorance,
and bigotry wreaked on the lives of ordinary Americans.  She advocated
strongly for our Nation?s disadvantaged -- urging an end to child labor,
pushing for the establishment of a minimum wage, speaking out for workers?
rights, confronting racial discrimination in New Deal programs, and
encouraging greater power and independence for women in the workplace.

     But perhaps her greatest achievement would come in the years after her
husband?s death.  A delegate to the General Assembly of the newly created
United Nations from 1945 to 1951, Eleanor Roosevelt was elected Chairperson
of the U.N.?s Human Rights Commission in 1946.  She played a pivotal role
in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and its final
language vividly reflects her humanitarian ideals and uncompromising
commitment to the inherent worth of every human being.  The first article
of the Declaration, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity
and rights," set the standard by which all future human rights charters
would be judged.

     Whether working for the United Nations, the NAACP, the Girl Scouts,
the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women, or the National
Conference of Christians and Jews, Eleanor Roosevelt devoted her boundless
energy to creating a world defined by respect for and dedication to
democratic values.  She was a woman ahead of her time, and her achievements
transcend her generation.  As we seek to chart a steady course for America,
democracy, and human rights in this new century, we need only look to her
values, character, and accomplishments to provide us with an unfailing
moral compass.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 11, 2000, the
anniversary of her birthday, as Eleanor Roosevelt Day. I call upon
government officials, educators, labor leaders, employers, diplomats, human
rights activists, and citizens of the United States to observe this day
with appropriate programs and activities.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of
October, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fifth.

                            WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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