Eleanor Roosevelt’s Own Program, April 30, 1940

by William A. Harris, Deputy Director Eleanor Roosevelt prepares for the first broadcast of her new NBC radio series, April 30, 1940. (Harris and Ewing Collection, Library of Congress) On April 30, 1940, with little fanfare, Eleanor Roosevelt commenced a new, commercial radio series on NBC. It is hard to imagine in this media era … Continue reading Eleanor Roosevelt’s Own Program, April 30, 1940

And the Winner Is… FDR and the 13th Academy Awards Ceremony

By William A. Harris, Deputy Director Movie producer and Academy president Walter Wanger invited the President to speak at the Academy Awards ceremony on February 4th and three weeks later, the President gave his remarks. The above cross reference in the President's files tracks the process. (FDR Library, President's Official File 73, Motion Pictures) With … Continue reading And the Winner Is… FDR and the 13th Academy Awards Ceremony

Celebrating the Big Day: FDR’s First Inauguration and the Annual Anniversary Celebrations, 1934-1945

The formal program to FDR's first inauguration. (FDR Library, Grace Tully Papers) By William A. Harris, Deputy Director With March upon us, it is once again time to celebrate the first inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as FDR himself did almost every year (except 1941 and 1945) of his Presidency. In 1933, FDR became … Continue reading Celebrating the Big Day: FDR’s First Inauguration and the Annual Anniversary Celebrations, 1934-1945

Television, FDR and the 1940 Presidential Conventions

by William A. Harris, Deputy Director FDR on television accepting the Democratic Presidential nomination, July 19, 1940. This photo was taken by a viewer while watching the broadcast and sent to the President. (FDR Library, President's Official File-Television) This year marks a major turning point in Presidential nominating conventions with the impact of the COVID-19 … Continue reading Television, FDR and the 1940 Presidential Conventions

Keep on Trucking: Esoterica from the FDR Library Files

by William A. Harris, Deputy Director For the car and truck enthusiasts, as well as those fascinated by the operation of Federal agency motor vehicle fleets during World War II (and really, who isn't?), we provide a glimpse into the operational world of the FDR Library in the early to mid-1940s, including the paperwork nightmare of a pre-computer … Continue reading Keep on Trucking: Esoterica from the FDR Library Files

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

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