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Figurine of Huckleberry Finn (MO 1971.49.11)
Outdoor picnics were one of Eleanor Roosevelt’s favorite activities. In 1933, a large stone picnic fireplace was constructed at Val-Kill, her retreat in Hyde Park. The outdoor grill was used to cook hot dogs, hamburgers, and other foods for family, friends, and famous visitors, including Shirley Temple and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
This painted terra cotta figure of Huckleberry Finn eating a hot dog once hung over the picnic fireplace. It was a gift to Eleanor in 1939 from Earl Miller, who served as her bodyguard during the years when FDR was Governor of New York and became a close friend.
July 2, 1932: FDR accepts the Democratic Party nomination for president at the convention in Chicago; declaring “a New Deal for the American people.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt en route from Albany to Chicago to address the Democratic National Convention and accept the nomination for President.
July 2, 1932
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 61-238.
Did you know:
- On July 5, 1934 FDR landed in Cap Haitien, Haiti becoming the first president to visit Haiti while in office.
- On July 4, 1940 FDR turned over his repository of personal and official papers at the FDR Library in Hyde Park to the government.
July 3, 1945
“HYDE PARK, Monday—Last week I went to the office of the American Federation for the Blind to receive the resolution which their board had passed and which Miss Helen Keller wanted to present to me personally. It was a resolution commemorating my husband’s services as honorary chairman. As I stood and listened to Miss Keller speak, I thought how wonderfully both Miss Keller and my husband typified the triumph over physical handicap.
Many of you may not know that Miss Keller, with her faithful friend and interpreter, has visited a number of our service hospitals. Some people felt that she might discourage our wounded men. Instead of that, the men recognized the greatness of her personality and the serene and courageous spirit which has made of her life a rich and full existence. She carried comfort to the men who were facing their own handicaps and trying to find the courage to build normal lives in spite of them.
* * *
I always found in hospitals that the knowledge among the men that my husband, who was their Commander in Chief and the President of the United States, nevertheless could not walk gave to every handicapped man a sense of greater determination in his own fight back to useful activity.
The presentation was a moving little ceremony and I was grateful to the board and to Miss Keller, for, in spite of the fact that my husband had little time to give to many of his interests, it still gave him a great satisfaction to be associated with their work. He managed to read their reports and to know what was going on, no matter how heavy were the cares of state…”