7. The ‘Four Freedoms’ address was the First Lady’s favorite
At the tip of Four Freedoms Park, you will find the “Four Freedoms” themselves. An excerpt of President Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union Speech outlining these freedoms is inscribed on the back of the stone frame that holds up the bust of President Roosevelt, on the south-facing wall of The Room. Eleanor Roosevelt considered this speech the crown jewel of all his speeches. After her husband’s death, the First Lady worked hard to make sure the Four Freedoms would be incorporated into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. A little known monument to Eleanor Roosevelt sits within the United Nations sculpture garden.
Considering the Four Freedoms’ role as founding principles of the United Nations, it is fitting that the UN building itself dominates Manhattan’s skyline directly across the East River from Four Freedoms Park. The park today also helps to protect the United Nations during General Assembly week. It functions as an off-site surveillance point, where cameras (pictured above) are installed leading up to the General Assembly and taken down once it has concluded.