70th Anniversary of Visit by US First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, in 1943

In 1943, US troops based in Rotorua were visited by the US First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was in town to wish the American soldiers well.  Seventy years later, the US Embassy Chief of Mission, Marie Damour, was afforded a Civic Welcome at the Rotorua Museum to commemorate the First Lady's visit.  Ms Damour also visited Hinemihi Marae at Whakarewarewa where she was hosted by the family of Rangitiaria Dennan, Guide Rangi, who hosted Mrs Roosevelt in 1943.  Inside Hinemihi, Jim Schuster told some of the stories the whanau had grown up hearing about the 1943 visit and these stories continued as Ms Damour was taken on a brief tour of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village.  The tour ended with Ms Damour's afternoon tea being taken out of the hangi by John Waaka and while partaking of the hangi nibbles at Mareikura, she was able to view archival newsreels of Eleanor Roosevelt's visit in 1943.  A memorable day that was enjoyed by all.

The coin minted by the US Government to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the visit by Eleanor Roosevelt, in 1943. The photograph of the hongi between the First Lady and Rangitiaria Dennan (Guide Rangi) won international acclaim.

 

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