In 1963, photographer Danny Lyon joined a fearsome biker gang called the Chicago Outlaws. The resulting photobook, The Bikeriders, will be showcased at the Atlas Gallery this summer – see more images here.
“We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind… . This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere.” -Eleanor Roosevelt, Speech to U.N. General Assembly on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 9, 1948
In December 1945, seeking to signal America’s commitment to the new United Nations organization— and cement his ties to a powerful Democratic party figure— President Harry Truman appointed Eleanor Roosevelt to America’s first delegation to the General Assembly.
Eleanor quickly became a major force on refugee and human rights issues. From 1946 to 1951 she chaired the U.N. Human Rights Commission leading the effort to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. An able and determined negotiator, she clashed frequently with Soviet delegates over the definition of human liberties. In the process, she pushed the State Department to recognize that human rights are not only civil and political rights, but social and economic rights too. The Declaration was Eleanor’s proudest achievement at the U.N. It created the modern definition of human rights. Today it is the standard for establishing norms governing international behavior regarding the rights of individuals.
Eleanor’s duties as a delegate to the United Nations included many trips abroad to London, Paris and Geneva. Eleanor received several gifts during these trips including:
A tortoise shell box presented to ER by an English woman as a token of appreciation in the winter of 1946.
A color print of the painting by Frank Beresford of Eleanor Roosevelt addressing the United Nations in London, England, on February 12, 1946. Inscribed and presented to ER by the artist.
A University of Lyon Academic Stole and Cap presented to ER in November 1948 when she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Lyon, France.
A silver United Nations medallion presented to ER by the government of France.
A watercolor of the Rue des Corps-Saints in Geneva’s Old Town by Harry Urban. Presented to ER by the artist in April 1951. The painting hung in the living room of ER’s NYC apartment until her death.
A group of French commemorative medallions, including one for FDR, from the government of France given to ER during her 1951-52 trip.
A lithograph of The American Church of Paris by Frank Milton Armington. Presented to ER by the church’s minister, Clayton E. Williams, in December 1951. The print hung in the living room of ER’s NYC apartment until her death.