The Good Luck Charm: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the 1920 Democratic National Convention

by Kevin Thomas, Special Events Coordinator Franklin D. Roosevelt and James Cox in Dayton, Ohio campaigning for Vice-President and President respectively. August 9, 1920. The lawn of Springwood was choked by the crowd. Nearly five thousand had gathered to witness the moment – when the young Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, addressed … Continue reading The Good Luck Charm: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the 1920 Democratic National Convention

Hidden Treasures: FDR’s Rare Bird Books

By Paul Sparrow, Director FDR Library As a young boy Franklin Roosevelt would explore the thousand acres of forest along the Hudson River that was his backyard. He loved to collect birds and he learned taxidermy so he could preserve his specimens using a form of arsenic soap. His work was good enough for the … Continue reading Hidden Treasures: FDR’s Rare Bird Books

Artifact Highlight: The Sphinx

By Herman Eberhardt, Supervisory Museum Curator One of the most unusual items in the Roosevelt Library's Museum collection also happens to be one of my favorites. The object is a sculpture. Of course, that isn’t an unusual thing to find in a museum collection. However, this particular sculpture, which stands over 8 feet high, isn’t … Continue reading Artifact Highlight: The Sphinx

Desk with many items within exhibit display

Artifact Highlight: FDR’s Oval Office Desk

By Herman Eberhardt, Supervisory Museum Curator Visitors to the Roosevelt Library often ask me what I think is the most important artifact in the Museum. Since the Museum collection includes over 34,000 objects, that would seem to be a difficult question to answer. The collection covers a broad spectrum of artifacts, ranging from clothing, personal … Continue reading Artifact Highlight: FDR’s Oval Office Desk

Remembering Gus Siko: The FDR Library’s Gold Star Staff Member

Augustus Julius "Gus" Siko, 1921-1943 by William A. Harris, deputy director On this Memorial Day weekend, we'll again honor the service of Augustus Julius "Gus" Siko, one of the original FDR Library staff members and one of only four National Archives employees to die on active duty during World War II. His patriotism and sense … Continue reading Remembering Gus Siko: The FDR Library’s Gold Star Staff Member

Unpretentious History: Alma Van Curan and the FDR Library Logbooks

by William A. Harris, Deputy Director A smiling Alma Van Curan, 1941. As archivists and historians know all too well, the most surprising documents are often the least obviously important ones. They lurk in plain sight, but they lack that "oh wow" brilliance of a "Day of Infamy" speech draft. The import of these less … Continue reading Unpretentious History: Alma Van Curan and the FDR Library Logbooks

Pomp and Circumstance: The Other State Visit of 1939

by William A. Harris, Deputy Director President and Mrs. Roosevelt greet President and Mrs. Somoza at Union Station, May 5, 1939. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Harris and Ewing Collection) Many are familiar with the state visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in the summer of 1939. That hot dog lunch … Continue reading Pomp and Circumstance: The Other State Visit of 1939

May 1940: President Roosevelt and the German Invasion of the Low Countries

by William A. Harris, Deputy Director Eighty years ago today, on May 11, 1940, the world looked very different in Europe than it had just the morning before. Nazi forces had attacked the Low Countries--The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg--on May 10th. The invasions had not come as a complete surprise, for Germany had been at … Continue reading May 1940: President Roosevelt and the German Invasion of the Low Countries

One of the Millions: FDR and the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1920

By Kevin Thomas, Special Events Coordinator The New York Times made it abundantly clear on September 20, 1918: F.D. Roosevelt Spanish Grip Victim Removed the previous day from the USS Leviathan in New York City, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt was taken to his mother’s residence in the city to recuperate. He was … Continue reading One of the Millions: FDR and the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1920

Florence Harriman, Diplomat

Portrait of Florence Harriman, ca. 1920s In 1937, President Roosevelt appointed Florence Jaffray Harriman (1870-1967) as United States' Minister to Norway. A founder of the Women's National Democratic Club and active in the Democratic National Committee, Harriman was related through marriage to W. Averell Harriman, future adviser to the President and governor of New York. … Continue reading Florence Harriman, Diplomat