The former First Lady, famous as the wife and widow of the 32d President of the United States and an international figure in her own right, died at P. She was 78 years old. The woman who was a noted humanitarian, author and columnist, delegate to the United Nations and active force in the Democratic party was mourned by people over the world. President Kennedy call her "one of the great ladies in the history of this country. Truman announced they planned to attend Mrs. Roosevelt's funeral.
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A new book contends that former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover was a homosexual who was blackmailed by the Mafia into denying the existence of organized crime for decades. There long have been rumors that Hoover was homosexual, often arising from his sharing a bachelor house with Tolson for years. Hoover was FBI director from until he died in
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Maureen Corrigan. One of the most amazing anecdotes in Hazel Rowley's crackling new biography of the Roosevelt marriage called, simply, Franklin and Eleanor , has, on the surface, nothing to do with their personal relationship; yet, it speaks volumes about the trust the first couple placed in each other: In November , as the Red Scare was gathering force, the House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed members of a college student group called the American Youth Congress to testify about their organization's ties to the Communist Party. Getting wind of this event, Eleanor asked Franklin's permission "to turn up unannounced" at the hearing. He gave it, and the first lady took off.
It's a good bet that somewhere over those rainbows, Eleanor Roosevelt's spirit will be marching, too. She's appeared off and on over the decades, whether loud and proud on posters reclaiming her as an uncelebrated lesbian or more demurely as a sort of mascot for branches of the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club. But this year, she deserves a special place of pride. June will also see the Supreme Court's thumbs-up or down ruling on gay marriage. Though Roosevelt was an extraordinary champion of African-American and women's rights, she also did more than almost anyone in the pre-Stonewall era to model acceptance of gay relationships -- and she did it in the White House.