Monday, May 7, 2018

FDR

Our trip to Hyde Park, NY to the Roosevelt Library and Museum last Friday was very interesting to me. First of all, I was born just two days before FDR became President. He is the only president I knew until I was 12 years old. Secondly, despite his flaws, I regard him as one of our great presidents, and his wife Eleanor is for me the most admirable First Lady of all time. Thirdly, Ellen and I have just read Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, No Ordinary Time, and we were both eager to see Hyde Park. Fourthly, there are some personal connections with him through my father - not that my father knew him, but just that events in dad's life touched or were touched by Roosevelt's.

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Thus, for example, when Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, my father was an Army chaplain, stationed in France. He was invited to preach at a memorial service for Roosevelt at a Protestant Church in Chateau-Thierry, FR. Years later, I visited that church and I got to stand in the very pulpit where he preached. Sort of a goose-bump moment.

The Reformed Church in Chateau-Thierry, FR

When I stood in the pulpit, I looked at these stained glass windows in the back of the sanctuary, depicting key moments in American-French relations. 

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When you enter the grounds at Hyde Park and go to the Visitor's Center, you encounter this bronze representation of Eleanor and Franklin sitting together:

Eleanor and Franklin

When you enter the Museum, you confront this portrait of FDR, with a trenchant quotation:


We are not making progress!!


To be continued!

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