On February 15, 1960, ABC broadcast a television special titled ‘The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Here’s To The Ladies’. It includes several musical performances by female artists. The last guest of the evening was former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. After leaving the White House widowed, she spent her time working for the UN and talking about human rights. She often appeared on radio and television shows, mostly to talk about issues like human rights and public service. This appearance stands out though.
FRANK SINATRA: From the songs of the heart to Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt is a simple segue. As you no doubt are aware, there is a Gallup poll taken every year to select the ten most admired women in the world. This year, for the eleventh consecutive time, the name at the top of that list is that of a lady whose friendship I treasure very much. Ladies and gentlemen, the most admired women of our time, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.
FRANK SINATRA: Good evening Mrs. Roosevelt.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: [inaudible] Mr. Sinatra.
FS: Mrs., why don’t you call me Frank?
ER: Well, see, I’m a little old fashioned. It seems more natural to me to say Mr. Sinatra.
FS: Well, if it pleases you, it’s alright. Now are you comfortable?
ER: Yes, except for one thing.
FS: Something wrong ?
ER: There’s nothing wrong really, but after seeing Miss Horne, Miss Costa, Miss Prowse, Miss Heller, perform so beautifully, well, I hope you realize that I’m not a singer by any stretch of the imagination.
FS: I know that.
ER: And I certainly can’t dance.
FS: I know that too Mrs. Roosevelt; but as you mentioned we have singers and dancers.
ER: Well then, what on earth did you think I could do that would be entertaining?
FS: Just what you’re doing now.
ER: I don’t quite understand you, you mean this is it?
ER: Oh Mr. Sinatra, are you feeling well?
FS: Yes, I’m weller than you might think.
ER: But you can’t call this entertainment?
FS: Well, you call it what you will, all I know is that any room is a better place for having had you in it.
ER: You should try for the diplomatic corps. Now come, Frank, there must be something I can contribute to the evening.
FS: All right, let me see. Mrs. Roosevelt, you are a woman who has traveled more extensively than anyone we know, and I’m sure that you’ve been face to face with troubled people in every corner of the globe, isn’t that so?
ER: Yes, I suppose so. That’s because my interest in people and the dignity of the individual seems more important to me than material things.
FS: No question. Now then, if you had one minute to leave one word with, say, 25 million people, what would that word be?
ER: That one word would be ‘hope’.
FS: Just hope?
ER: Yes, it’s the most neglected word in our language.
FS: Well, in this country at least, and maybe that’s because the reality of our way of life is more than less fortunate people’s dare to hope for.
ER: Yes, I find the more needy people are, the more they live on hope. Yet without hope there can be no solution to any of mankind’s troubles. I think you put it so nicely in that song.
FS: You mean ‘High Hopes’? Well, that’s a song for children.
ER: Well, maybe we grown-ups would do well sometimes to think as simply and directly as children. You know, I read a great deal to children and love it. Let’s see, how do those words go?
FS: Well, it begins by saying ‘the next time you’re found’…
Next time you’re found with your chin on the ground
There’s a lot to be learned, so look around
Once there was a silly old ant
Who thought he’d move a rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant can’t move a rubber tree plant
But he had high hopes
High, apple pie, in the sky hopes
So anytime you’re getting low
Instead of letting go
Just remember that ant
Whoops, there goes another rubber tree plant
So keep your high hopes, those high, apple pie, in the sky hopes
A problem’s just a toy balloon
They’ll be bursting soon
They’re just bound to go pop
Whoops, there goes another problem
Kerplop, another problem