Eleanor Roosevelt Supports the Fight Against Carmine DeSapio


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June 17, 1959, Vol. IV, No. 34

Call for End to Boss System

The Democratic voters of Greenwich Village were told last Thursday night that “millions of people throughout the nation” were watching them.

The words were those of former Senator Herbert H. Lehman, who spoke at a fundraising dinner of the Village Independent Democrats at One Fifth Avenue.

Calling on Villagers to “retire” Tammany Chief Carmine G. DeSapio as Democratic District Leader in the First Assembly District South, he said: “You will then be performing a substantial service for the Democratic Party of this county, city, state, and country.”

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, chief speaker at the $25-a-plate dinner echoed the former Senator’s views. She told the 175 guests that the Manhattan insurgency was “as important to the future of all of us” as the foreign ministers’ conference in Geneva.

“If democracy is to survive as we know it,” she said, “active citizen participation in politics is essential.” The former First Lady accused the Tammany leadership of employing “subtle and invidious” ways to discourage rank-and-file involvement in Democratic affairs.

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