As she moved from being First Lady to diplomat to activist, Eleanor Roosevelt inspired citizens and nations to build a world governed by diplomacy, civic engagement, and democratic policy. Her example of peace building and human rights advocacy throughout her life is a model to be studied and applied not only in the United States but also around the world. To reach a broad audience, Roosevelt relied upon a wide range of media including the monthly television show, Prospects of Mankind. The series first aired on WGBH in October 1959, and was broadcast until 1961, a year before Roosevelt’s death. The television program was a forum for leaders and decision makers to discuss current events and international issues including human rights, post-World War II reconstruction, the Cold War, the spread of communism, refugee issues, and the Palestine-Israel conflict, among others. It also featured Roosevelt as mediator and host to “a rare assemblage of some of the most distinguished figures of the twentieth century.”1 Today, however, Prospects of Mankind has been largely forgotten despite its significance, just as Eleanor Roosevelt’s vision and influence have been eclipsed due to misconceptions and often overshadowed by her husband’s achievements.
Museum Studies (BS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of History (CLA)
Menzies, Kellie S., "Recovering Eleanor Roosevelt's Voice: The Exhibition of Prospects of Mankind" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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