Senior College students were, of course, disappointed when classes were canceled, but Mike Bell stepped right up and offered his class on the Roosevelts via Zoom. Initially, two sections were scheduled, and Mike decided to keep to that schedule—one class meeting on Monday morning and the other on Friday morning.
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt are two of the most consequential people in American history. The class examines their lives and their role in shaping America and the world as we know it. As part of the class, Mike arranged two special visits for us. The first took us to Campobello where we took a virtual tour of the grounds with Will Kernohan who also described family life at the “cottage.” Then four Campobello guides took over and told their favorite Roosevelt stories. The second was presented by author Kathryn Smith. She offered a living history program about Marguerite “Missy” LeHand, FDR’s private secretary, the subject of Smith’s popular book, “The Gatekeeper.” Missy LeHand is generally considered the first and only female presidential chief of staff. There was a lengthy, informative Q and A after the program.