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

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

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

Updates: Morgenthau Holocaust Collections Project

Hidden Figures -- Henrietta Stein Klotz: “The Watchdog of the Secretary of the Treasury”                    Dr. Abby Gondek is the Roosevelt Institute’s 2019-2020 Morgenthau Scholar-in-Residence. Here she blogs her research and work in support of the Morgenthau Holocaust Collections Project – a digital history and pathfinding initiative to raise awareness of the FDR Library’s unique … Continue reading Updates: Morgenthau Holocaust Collections Project

Veteran’s Day

The Veteran's Day we celebrate now was originally known as Armistice Day until 1954. The purpose of the holiday was to commemorate the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. Presidents often participate in ceremonies on November 11th at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, now the Tomb of the Unknowns, at Arlington National … Continue reading Veteran’s Day

75th Anniversary of the Battle for Guadalcanal

By Paul Sparrow, Director, FDR Library. August 7th, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the Marine landing on Guadalcanal. It was the start of one of the most important campaigns in World War II. There were smashing victories and bitter losses, acts of incredible heroism and unspeakable carnage. And at a critical moment, President Roosevelt … Continue reading 75th Anniversary of the Battle for Guadalcanal