Moxie by Proxy – Peter Vermilyea on former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

Season 1 - Episode 5

Peter Vermilyea is a local historian and teacher at Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, CT, and the University of Connecticut. He is a Civil War scholar who is currently engaged in a long-term research project on the Civil War in Litchfield County.

Pete is passionate about doing history and instilling that desire in students, fueling their own intellectual moxie. He is on the board of the Litchfield Historical Society in Litchfield, CT, and is the author of several books, including Hidden History of Litchfield County and Wicked Litchfield County. Pete speaks about events in local history and their lasting significance in a wide range of settings.

In this Moxie by Proxy episode, he shares stories from the life of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Her early life shaped her into an empathetic soul. A pivotal educator in her teen years allowed her to find her moxie and propelled her into being an ardent advocate and spokesperson for those without a voice in society. She used her moxie to create a robust positive media presence and reach that lasted her entire life.

Eleanor’s moxie extended to her complicated yet politically productive relationship with her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She reshaped the office of First Lady from hostess to presidential confidante, advisor, and relentless champion for social justice. Eleanor walked the walk and asked the question, “What can be done?” and then went and did it.

Pete earned his BA in History from Gettysburg College.

You can read more about First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the resources mentioned in the podcast:

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