Thursday, November 26, 2020

Tea with History, Edith and Eleanor Roosevelt


Submitted Photo

The seventh annual President’s Day program for 2019 is a stunner with two of Marco Island’s best loved actresses, Bonnie Bozzo and Judy Daye, portraying Edith and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Tea with History, the Roosevelts,” a two-act play is presented at the Rose Hall Auditorium on Sunday, February 17 at 2 PM and on Monday, February 18 at 7 PM. Tickets ($20) are available at the museum gift shop (180 S. Heathwood Dr.) and Kay’s on the Beach (1089 Bald Eagle Dr.).

Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt occupied the White House and dominated American political life for nearly 20 of the first 45 years of the 20th Century. No other American family’s influence has touched as many American lives.

The legacy started when Theodore Roosevelt invited his favorite niece Eleanor and her fiancé, his young cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a college student at Harvard, to join the crowd at his 1905 inauguration to become the 32nd President of the United States. A photographer taking a panoramic picture of the crowd captured the unmistakable profile of the young FDR peering over their heads of others to watch his hero take the oath of office.

The glass plate photograph may have caught the moment in time when Franklin was inspired to follow closely in his cousin’s footsteps twenty years later: from New York state legislator, to assistant secretary of the Navy, to governor of New York, and to President.

In their personal lives the men wrestled with significant physical challenges, betrayal and forgiveness, grief and self-doubt, courage and cowardice, loyalty to family, and the need to be one’s own self.

However, our story today is about the wives of those men. The close relationship between Aunt Edith Roosevelt and her niece Eleanor Roosevelt developed into a warm friendship that sustained both women. Edith and Eleanor became quite close despite the competition between the Republican Sagamore Hill Roosevelts and the Democratic Hyde Park Roosevelts.

Our presentation takes place in 1947 after FDR’s death. Edith Roosevelt has invited her niece Eleanor to tea at Sagamore Hill and is waiting for her to arrive. The two ladies haven’t seen each other for some time, and they have much to catch up on.

The Marco Island Historical Society’s Rose History Auditorium is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island. For more information call 239-252-1440 or visit themihs.org.

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