Flash Interactive: Eleanor's Tour of the South Pacific

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In 1943, while the U.S. was carrying out an offensive war against the Japanese and almost a year after the decisive battle at Guadalcanal, Eleanor Roosevelt made a goodwill tour of the South Pacific. To make her trip useful, Eleanor, traveling as a representative of the Red Cross, inspected the organization's installations on the islands. She kept the plans of her trip a secret and made the 10,000 mile journey to Australia alone so as not to incur criticism for disrupting military operations.

According to Eleanor, the five weeks she spent in the Pacific left "a mark from which I will never be free."

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