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0 Heart it! Heidi McArdle 30
February 19, 2018
Heidi McArdle
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Despite the lure of treating myself to an Eco mattress on President’s Day, I wondered if there was something my children and I could do with our log cabin fever since I banned the millionth watching of The Lego Movie. We live between two American pilgrimage sites: Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson River where the first Purple Heart was awarded by GW himself, and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s beloved home in Hyde Park, NY. Both presidents (two of the three most admired) oversaw war clouds in which victory took on mythic status. After saying NO to tyranny and NO to fascism, does a nation say YES to something?


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was overseen and by and presented to the U.N. in 1948 by Eleanor Roosevelt, then a widow. It has become part of customary international law.  A blueprint for that particular evolution in human society, it is summarized as:


Article 1
Right to Equality

Article 2
Freedom from Discrimination

Article 3
Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security

Article 4
Freedom from Slavery

Article 5
Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment

Article 6
Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law

Article 7
Right to Equality before the Law

Article 8
Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal

Article 9
Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile

Article 10
Right to Fair Public Hearing

Article 11
Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty

Article 12
Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence

Article 13
Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country

Article 14
Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution

Article 15
Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It

Article 16
Right to Marriage and Family

Article 17
Right to Own Property

Article 18
Freedom of Belief and Religion

Article 19
Freedom of Opinion and Information

Article 20
Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Article 21
Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections

Article 22
Right to Social Security

Article 23
Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions

Article 24
Right to Rest and Leisure

Article 25
Right to Adequate Living Standard

Article 26
Right to Education

Article 27
Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community

Article 28
Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document

Article 29
Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development

Article 30
Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights


Mrs. Roosevelt did not depend on courts and governments to secure these rights, but insisted they be nurtured “in small places, close to home-so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Visits on civic holidays to quiet cannons are fine, but I think I will wander with my children to Eleanor’s side of the house.


{Eleanor Roosevelt, “Where Do Human Rights Begin?” in Courage in a Dangerous World: The Political Writings of Eleanor Roosevelt, ed. Allida M. Black (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), 190.}


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