Eleanor's public activities during that time paved the way to the political career of her husband. But, upon the involvement of the US in WWI, she became active in the American Red Cross, thus doing volunteer work in the hospitals. After bearing six children in her 13 years of marriage, Eleanor started again the quest for her own identity. The journey started shockingly: the 1918 discovery of love letters exposing that Franklin having an affair with Lucy Mercer. "The bottom dropped out of my own particular world, " she then later said.
"I faced myself, my surroundings, my world, honestly for the first time. " A talk on divorce came up, but when Franklin had promised never to see Lucy again, their marriage goes on, for Eleanor a new path had been discovered, the opportunity of being at a distance from Franklin. No longer would she identify herself exclusively in terms of her husband’ s needs and wants. A new relationship was fictitious, on the context of being different from the way things were before during their marriage7. Upon her husband’ s diagnosis with polio in 1921, Eleanor Roosevelt became more active in the field of politics in order to both assist Franklin in maintaining his interests and at the same time, be able to assert herself based on her own goals and personality.
She became actively involved in women’ s groups such as the Women’ s Trade Union League, the League of Women Voters and also rendered work for the Women’ s Division of the New York State Democratic Committee. She was also active in helping out the foundation of Val-Kill Industries, a nonprofit furniture factory located in Hyde Park, New York, and at the same time, rendered teaching work at a private girls school, the Todhunter School, in New York City8.
During the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt was a very active First Lady as she traveled all around the globe, surveying the working conditions of the people, visiting relief projects, and then making reports on her observations to her husband, the president.
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