Newly Restored Films
Sourced from 11 digitally-restored home movies recently donated by Missy LeHand’s family, this footage offers a rare, intimate view of the private social lives of both the President and Eleanor Roosevelt.
These candid scenes, shot in both color and black-and-white, date roughly 1932 to 1941. They depict a wide range of personal relationships and activities enjoyed by the Roosevelts’ large and dynamic group of friends, family, and advisers. In them we see FDR driving around Hyde Park; casual visits with European royalty; picnics in the woods; goofy egg races at Val Kill (spoiler alert–Eleanor cheats!); boats playfully speeding during fishing trips; Eleanor knitting in the sunshine at Campobello; and, of course, joyful swimming at Warm Springs.
You may recognize some prominent figures of the 20th Century, including Cordell Hull, Joe Kennedy, Crown Princess Martha of Norway, and the Duke of Windsor. Many from the Roosevelt inner circle appear – most notably FDR’s devoted advisers Louis Howe, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Harry Hopkins, Grace Tully, Stephen Early, Sam Rosenman, and Missy Lehand, herself.
More About a Remarkable Donation
Marguerite (Missy) LeHand was FDR’s longtime personal secretary and confidante. In 2017, Barbara Collins Jacques donated to the FDR Presidential Library 11 original 16mm home movies in honor of her aunt, Missy, and her mother, Marguerite Farwell Collins. These films total nearly two hours in run time, with original footage either captured or collected by Missy LeHand. The films document social activities from a Roosevelt inner circle perspective, and bring new insight to our understanding of the people behind the presidency.
Film editors at the Pare Lorentz Film Center at the FDR Library are now preparing these primary source motion pictures for use in education programs, online exhibits, and social media sharing to come. In addition, teachers, students, and researchers will soon be able to access the fully digitized, unedited films through the National Archives Catalog.
For more on Missy LeHand’s extraordinary relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt, see “Marguerite ‘Missy’ LeHand: FDR’s Right Hand Woman”