Monday, May 7, 2018


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.


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. 


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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