Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name



History & Political Science


Anthony DeStefanis, PhD

First Committee Member

Jonathan DeCoster, PhD

Second Committee Member

Louise Captein


Eleanor Roosevelt, Media, Activism, First Lady, Women's rights

Subject Categories

American Politics | Political History | Social History | United States History | Women's History


In this thesis, I discuss Eleanor Roosevelt as a political and social activist through the media. ER was the first First Lady to advocate for her own social and political agenda and a way in which she accomplished this was with her extensive relationship with the media. In my thesis, I first give a brief history of other sources regarding aspects of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life that touch my own project. Then, I examine the reasons Eleanor Roosevelt felt compelled toward activism. In the next section I analyze several different media outlets, beginning with her book It’s Up to the Women, followed by her radio broadcasts, then her press conferences, and finally her newspaper column, My Day. In doing this, I hope to prove that although Eleanor Roosevelt definitely accomplished what was expected of First Ladies at the time, she also enjoyed engaging with the media and used it to advance her own agenda.