I've meant to visit the Rock Creek Cemetery near the Petworth neighborhood in Washington, D.C. since last year; over Memorial Day weekend, I made the trek with a friend. Rock Creek boast illustrious “residents” like author Upton Sinclair, and Alice Warfield Allen, mother of Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson. But I’d come to see Washington matriarch and podcast subject, Alice Roosevelt Longworth. She’s buried there beside her daughter Paulina Sturm. I was delighted to see that someone had left a flag and picture of Alice at her grave. It’s cool that despite dying over three decades ago, people continue to admire that sassy, old broad!
In an era when society demanded women and men conform to guidelines governed by gender and class, Alice Roosevelt Longworth broke the rules. From mutinous teenager racing cherry red auto through the streets of DC to capital grande dame skewering those of lesser wit, "she lived on the cream at the top of the bottle."
Her arrival coincided with the death of her mother, Alice Lee Hathaway, and her paternal grandmother. For her first three years of life, she was fostered by her doting Auntie Bye. When father Teddy remarried, at last she was brought into the family fold. Unsurprisingly, she clashed regularly with her endlessly absent father and old-fashioned step-mother. When the Roosevelts ascended to the White House, Alice’s outrageous exploits gained a world-wide audience. She crowned was crowned “Princess Alice,” and admirers devoured reports of her dancing ‘til sun-up and shooting her pistol off the back of trains.
The History Bitch
Podcaster, tea aficionado, Anglophile, 'Game of Thrones' enthusiast.