Eleanor Roosevelt's outspoken support of civil liberties, and especially civil rights, made her the target of vicious personal attacks. ER responded with courage and fortitude. Defying hate mail and death threats, she continued traveling, often alone, to lecture and meet with civil rights leaders and activists.
Her fearlessness was demonstrated in 1958, when she traveled to Tennessee to attend an integration workshop at the Highlander Folk School, an interracial training center devoted to labor and civil rights. The FBI warned her that the local Ku Klux Klan planned to raid the school during her appearance. The local sheriff was a Klan sympathizer and authorities could not guarantee her safety. Eleanor refused to cancel her plans. She drove unescorted over country roads to reach the school and speak at the workshop as scheduled.