Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Franklin Delanor Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

We had lunch after we returned from walking through the Rose Garden.  Then we headed over to the FDR Presidential Library.  FDR was the first United States President to give his papers to the American people and this library is the only one built by a sitting President.  He even had an office in this building while he was President.

Bust of President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt

These sculptures are inside the front doors of the Presidential Library

This picture has one of my favorite quotes from FDR:  "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

This poster speaks to the relationship between President Teddy Roosevelt and President Franklin Roosevelt.  Teddy was a Republican and Franklin was a liberal Democrat but they got along well and admired each other.  FDR followed in Teddy's steps in obtaining his presidency.

Eleanor Roosevelt at Age 4.  Her father Elliott titled this portrait "Little Nell scolding her brother Elliott"

There were many many information posters throughout the library as well as several videos showing the President at work, campaigning, and giving various addresses and fireside chats.  We enjoyed watching several of the videos.

In a room that held his Presidential desk, there were several large wall hangings that drove FDR.  I wish we could bring what he called "A world founded upon four essential human freedoms" to our politicians these days.  They don't seem to see the value of human life and their politics seem only to be on how they can line their pockets.  It is a sad thing.





There were many different ways of displaying information about the years we had with FDR.  Above and below are some examples that were in one hallway that had mementos and information about World War II.

We both enjoyed this little room that was set up like a dining room of the 30's or 40's where the family would gather to listen to one of FDR's Fireside Chats on the radio.  We were able to sit in on several segments of some of his chats.  

Besides all of the information about the President, this library also contains storage for his papers, books, photographs, negatives and audiovisual items.  There are also portraits and personal items and collections, some of which are displayed n the archives section of the library.  The above is a picture of a replica of the USS Constitution and was FDR's favorite ship model.  This ship, "Old Ironsides" is the most famous ship of the early American Navy.  Roosevelt purchased this model in 1914.  It was displayed in his private White House study.  He donated it to the Roosevelt Library shortly before his death.

1936 Ford Phaeton

President Roosevelt enjoyed driving this car whenever he was at Hyde Park.  This car was specially modified to be operated with hand controls.  It gave FDR the freedom to drive despite his disability.  After FDR's death, Eleanor Roosevelt used the car until 1946 when she donated it to the Museum.  It had been driven 19,143 miles.

As we were coming to the end of the exhibits in the Library, there was an ongoing Video being played that showed the newspapers about FDR's death, the shock of the nation and the ceremonies leading up to his burial at Springwood.  It was apparent that he was a beloved man during his presidency.  The expressions of grief and the tears of many were evident throughout the entire video. 

This was a funeral parade in Washington D.C.

The caisson bearing the President's body

Eleanor Roosevelt may have been a favorite person of the people but J. Edgar Hoover sure felt he had to keep his eye on her.  Her entire FBI file is in the Presidential Library.  About 90% of this file is related to her Civil Rights work.  This woman spent her entire life as a reformer, teacher, journalist and a political activist.  This First Lady was an advocate for the underprivileged and became a delegate to the United Nations.  She was a champion of Human Rights.  Her FBI file is 3271 pages long and is is one of the largest files ever compiled by the FBI on an individual.  Too bad J. Edgar didn't believe organized crime existed so he spent his whole time trying to find the Communists among us!

In her lifetime, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote twenty-four books and copies of all were on display in the Library. In addition, she authored more than five hundred articles and more than 8,000 of the My Day syndicated newspaper columns between 1936 and her death in 1962. She was an incredible woman in her own right. 

Franklin Delanor Roosevelt's Presidential Office

We've been to several Presidential Libraries and most have a replica of the Oval Office as it looked when they were in the White House.  FDR's office in his library is different in that it was the actual office he used when was at home during his Presidency.

FDR giving a Fireside Chat from his Hyde Park office

FDR's Mother, Sara.  She commissioned this portrait 
of her for her son's office.

FDR's wheel chair is at the forefront of this picture.  It was not in the forefront during his lifetime though.  He always was transferred to his car, his desk, or a chair so that he was not photographed as an invalid.  He felt that if people knew how much damage polio had done, he would not have become President or been able to keep the position because in those days, people presumed that a physically disabled person was also mentally impaired. 

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