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April 24, 1950

“HYDE PARK, Sunday—…Finally there is a new collection of Edwin Markham’s poems, collected and arranged by Charles L. Wallace. I believe all of us should occasionally sit down and read our own poets, especially those who reflect the spirit of the United States. Two of Markham’s little verses deserve, I think, to be read often. They go:

“We all are blind until we see
That in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making if
It does not make the man.
Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the world, unless
The builder also grows.”

In this particular period when the American citizen has to grow so rapidly, those lines, written some time ago, should be learned by every child.”

April 27, 1937: The nation’s first Social Security checks were distributed.

Social Security poster of a woman leaning on a fence post.
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 53-227(1733).

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The New Deal Estore is a great place to shop for Roosevelt related books, gifts, and other treasures from the New Deal Store at the Roosevelt Library. Available at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu, the Estore features everything from a selection of the latest books on the Roosevelts and their times, to T-shirts, ties and caps, multimedia, campaign memorabilia, and museum replicas. For items related to this week’s blog post, follow the links below:

Social Security: History & Politics from the New Deal to the Privatization Debate by Daniel Beland
The Woman Behind the New Deal, The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor by Kirsten Downey
The Coming of the New Deal, The Age of Roosevelt by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
Freedom from Fear 1929-1945 by David M. Kennedy
The Great Depression – America, 1929-1941 by Robert S. McElvaine

April 18, 1942: An air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.

President Roosevelt bestows Congressional Medal of Honor on Brigadier General James Doolittle for a successful raid on Tokyo.
May 19, 1942
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 65-696.

April 17, 1945

“WASHINGTON, Monday—When you have lived for a long time in close contact with the loss and grief which today pervades the world, any personal sorrow seems to be lost in the general sadness of humanity. For a long time, all hearts have been heavy for every serviceman sacrificed in the war. There is only one way in which those of us who live can repay the dead who have given their utmost for the cause of liberty and justice. They died in the hope that, thru their sacrifice, an enduring peace would be built and a more just world would emerge for humanity.

While my husband was in Albany and for some years after coming to Washington, his chief interest was in seeing that the average human being was given a fairer chance for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That was what made him always interested in the problems of minority groups and of any group which was at a disadvantage.

As the war clouds gathered and the inevitable involvement of this country became more evident, his objective was always to deal with the problems of the war, political and military, so that eventually an organization might be built to prevent future wars…

* * *

…And now I want to say one personal word of gratitude to the many people who have sent messages of affection and condolence during these last days. My children and I are deeply grateful. I want to say too that the people who waited in the stations and along the railroad to pay their last respects have my deep appreciation.

‘And now there abideth these three—faith, hope, charity, but the greatest of these is charity.'”

Talk & Book Signing: Robert Klara
FDR’s Funeral Train

Location: Henry A. Wallace Center
Time: 7:00 p.m.

The FDR Presidential Library will host an author talk and book signing at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2010 with Robert Klara. Mr. Klara is the author of FDR’s Funeral Train.

Free public event. For information call (845) 486-7745 or click here.

April 11, 1960

“NEW YORK—It is a good thing that the Senate has finally passed the civil rights bill after an eight-week fight, with 42 Democrats and 29 Republicans in favor. This is only the second civil rights legislation to pass the Senate since the Reconstruction Era. The first civil rights act of 1957 was also a voting rights measure. Already those who want a really fair bill giving the Negroes their full rights are denouncing this bill, and I am quite sure that it will continue to be denounced. But I hope that it is at least a step in the right direction.

All of us in the Democratic party, I think, owe Senator Johnson a vote of thanks. He has risked repercussions among his Southern colleagues and among his own constituents. He has made it possible for the Democrats to claim equal, if not more, responsibility for the passage of the bill which of course should never have had to be passed—for the right to vote should be something which every citizen of this country enjoys without any question. Since it was necessary to pass the bill, however, we are fortunate to have had a parliamentary leader with the skill of Senator Johnson.

My one fear is of intimidation which I feel sure will be tried to prevent Negro citizens in the South from registering and voting. I hope the Attorney General can find ways of protecting the registration and of preventing retaliation when the Negro citizens of the South exercise their constitutional right.”

Click here for the complete My Day article.

April 12, 1945: FDR dies in Warm Springs, Georgia.

Telegram from Eleanor Roosevelt to son John Roosevelt informing him of Franklin D. Roosevelt's passing.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s funeral service in the East Room of the White House.
April 14, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 72-18:422


Franklin D. Roosevelt’s funeral at Hyde Park, New York.
April 15, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 77-144(1)

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The New Deal Estore is a great place to shop for Roosevelt related books, gifts, and other treasures from the New Deal Store at the Roosevelt Library. Available at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu, the Estore features everything from a selection of the latest books on the Roosevelts and their times, to T-shirts, ties and caps, multimedia, campaign memorabilia, and museum replicas. For items related to this week’s blog post, follow the links below:

Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven by Susan Richards Shreve
Images of America: Warm Springs by David M. Burke, Jr. and Odie A. Burke
The Hidden Campaign, FDR’s Health and the 1944 Election by Hugh E. Evans, M.D.
A Conspiracy of Silence: The Health and Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt by Harry S. Goldsmith, M.D.
FDR’s Funeral Train: A Betrayed Widow, a Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance by Robert Klara
Franklin D. Roosevelt bust

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lecture: Mel Marmer
Baseball and the Presidency

Location: Henry A. Wallace Center
Time: 2:00 p.m.

The FDR Presidential Library will host a special lecture with Mel Marmer at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, 2010 entitled Baseball and the Presidency. Mr. Marmer will present slides throughout the program and take questions from the audience.

Free public event. For information call (845) 486-7745 or click here.

April 5, 1933: Issues executive order establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps.

FDR – having lunch while visiting Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, Co. 350, at Big Meadows, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. L-r: General Malone, Louis Howe, Harold Ickes, Robert Fechner, FDR, Henry Wallace, Rexford Tugwell.
August 12, 1933
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 54-499.

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The New Deal Estore is a great place to shop for Roosevelt related books, gifts, and other treasures from the New Deal Store at the Roosevelt Library. Available at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu, the Estore features everything from a selection of the latest books on the Roosevelts and their times, to T-shirts, ties and caps, multimedia, campaign memorabilia, and museum replicas. For items related to this week’s blog post, follow the links below:

Plant a Tree T-Shirt
Conserve Stainless Steel Water bottle

April 3, 1958

“NEW YORK—The Soviet Union’s announcement that it will stop all nuclear testing was, of course, a diplomatic triumph that will advance the Soviet states in the eyes of the uncommitted nations who dread war and want to see steps taken to prevent it.

Why our government could not have brought nuclear testing negotiations to some kind of conclusion before this will always be a mystery to me. As it is now, the Soviets are in a perfect position, for they say they will stop but put no time limit on when they will begin again because, they say, it depends on when the rest of us will follow suit.

Therefore, we and great Britain must bear the entire responsibility for continuing these tests. Of course, we can say that we have no way of knowing whether the Soviets are actually living up to their announced decision and we already have said, “There is no system of verification.”

But the world is going to believe that we are able to tell if the Soviets continue these tests, and the peoples of the free world are going to ask their governments to work out some system of verification, if not to improve the machinery for detection.

The temper of the people of the world, as a whole, favors a start toward doing away with the possibility of war and our Western governments had better realize this.

There has been no enthusiasm, as far as I can find out, for our announcement that we will develop a “clean” bomb. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, in his speech to the Supreme Soviet, made fun of the idea that there could be such a thing as a “clean” nuclear bomb.

I do not think people are interested in whether or not we produce a bomb with less danger of radioactive fallout. They want no bombs.

The governments of the Western world had better begin to recognize the fact that their people are anxious to see results leading toward disarmament. On the whole, I think, they would like to see the steps taken within the United Nations. They feel more confident when the whole world is included in these negotiations, but they want to see progress made and the Soviets have taken the initiative away from us.

I am sorry that our government has allowed this to happen. This Administration has been meeting emergency situations when they arise, but it has been shortsighted in preventing emergencies from arising and in beating the Soviets to the punch with actions appealing to the people of the world.”

Click here for the complete My Day article.

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