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The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historical Site will host a series of public events over Memorial Day Weekend beginning Friday, May 28 through Monday, May 31, 2010. These events are:

USO Show
Friday, May 28, 2010
Location: Henry A. Wallace Center
Time: 7:00 p.m.

Bivouac – Living History Encampment
Saturday, May 29, 2010 – Sunday May 30, 2010
Location: Roosevelt Library Lawn
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Special Presentation – “The USS ROOSEVELT (DDG 80)
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Location: Henry A. Wallace Center
Time: 3:00 p.m.

Graveside Memorial Service
Monday, May 31, 2010
Location: Rose Garden, Home of FDR National Historic Site
Time: 2:00 p.m.

For more information about these events, check out our events calendar or click here.

May 27, 1935: The Supreme Court declares the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional.

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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:

Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court by Jeff Shesol
The Supreme Court Reborn: The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Roosevelt by William E. Leuchtenburg
FDR v. The Constitution: The Court-Packing Fight and the Triumph of Democracy by Burt Solomon

May 30, 1938

“HYDE PARK, Sunday—…Tomorrow, Monday, May 30th, is Decoration Day and long processions wending their way to the various churchyards to hold ceremonies decorating the graves of those men who have made the supreme sacrifice in past wars will remind us of those who have died for this country.

Only a little over 20 years have passed since the World War and yet, everywhere people are talking of the imminence of the next world war. Strange it is that we accept so placidly this constant recurrence of waste which plunges us into years of hardship and difficult reconstruction.

When Miss Margaret Bonfield lunched with me the other day, I could not help wondering how a woman, who has given so much of her life to constructive work for the betterment of human beings, can continue to be hopeful and patient in the face of the apparent stupidity which we show in leading our lives.

I wish that we could use Decoration Day throughout this country, not only as a patriotic celebration to honor the deeds of the past, but as a day on which we remind our young people of their obligation to the future. On them lies the necessity to change the thinking of the future so that we will prevent graves all over the world, which on one day or another, are visited first by sorrowing relatives, and later by patriotic youngsters and their elders who realize that the people under the flag-bedecked gravestones gave all they had to give for their country and gained little for it and the world.

All these young lives might have served their country much more constructively had they been allowed to live out their days in peace. It is not a question of being unwilling to die for your country. It is far more the need for the type of imagination which will visualize the possibility of living so that the country will profit by the lives of each one of its citizens. When they die, on their tombstones should be written: “John James lived from 1920-1980 and accomplished thus and so,” instead of “Here lies John James who died at the age of 20 in the service of his country in the battle of x x x.”

Memorial Day should never be given up, but as the years go by we hope that people will be honored for their lives and not for their deaths.”

May 20, 1954

“NEW YORK, Wednesday—…While I was on the Tex and Jinx show I was given the news of the unanimous Supreme Court decision that wiped out segregation in the schools. I am delighted this was a unanimous decision because I think it will be difficult for the states with segregated school systems to hold out against such a ruling.

If it were not for the fact that segregation in itself means inequality, the old rule of giving equal facilities might have gone on satisfying our sense of justice for a long time. It is very difficult, however, to ensure real equality under a segregated system, and the mere fact that you cannot move freely anywhere in your country and be as acceptable everywhere as your neighbor creates an inequality.

Southerners always bring up the question of marriage between the races and I realize that that is the question of real concern to people. But it seems to me a very personal question which must be settled by family environment and by the development of the cultural and social patterns within a country. One can no longer lay down rules as to what individuals will do in any area of their lives in a world that is changing as fast as ours is changing today.”

Click here for the complete My Day article.

May 18, 1933: The Tennessee Valley Authority was created.

Laborers at work in Tennessee Valley Authority forest tree nursery at Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 53-227(1850).

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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:

This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America and the New Deal by Sarah T. Phillips
Big Dams of the New Deal Era: A Confluence of Engineering and Politics by David P. Billington and Donald C. Jackson
FDR’s Alphabet Soup, New Deal America 1932-1939 by Tonya Bolden

May 14, 1945

“HYDE PARK, Sunday—…I have been getting a good many letters of late about the Equal Rights amendment, which has been reported out favorably to the House by the House Judiciary Committee. Some of the women who write me seem to think that if this amendment is passed there will be no further possibility of discrimination against women. They feel that the time has come to declare that women shall be treated in all things on an equal basis with men. I hardly think it is necessary to declare this, since as a theory it is fairly well accepted today by both men and women. But in practice it is not accepted, and I doubt very much whether it ever will be.

Other women of my acquaintance are writing me in great anxiety, for they are afraid that the dangers of the amendment are not being properly considered. The majority of these women are employed in the industrial field. Their fear is that labor standards safeguarded in the past by legislation will be wrecked, and that the amendment will curtail and impair for all time the powers of both State and Federal government to enact any legislation that may be necessary and desirable to protect the health and safety of women in industry.

I do not know which group is right, but I feel that if we work to remove from our statute books those laws which discriminate against women today, we might accomplish more and do it in a shorter time than will be possible through the passage of this amendment.”

Click here for the complete My Day article.

May 11, 1935: FDR creates the Rural Electrification Administration to bring electricity to isolated rural areas not serviced by private utilities.

Rural Electrification Admin (REA): lineman working on pole as farmer watches.
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 63-295.

May 6, 1935: The Works Progress Administration opened its doors and began sending unemployed Americans back to work.

WPA Theatre worker
1935
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-49:1(262).

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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:

Posters for the People: Art of the WPA by Ennis Carter
American Made – The Enduring Legacy of the WPA by Nick Taylor
When Art Worked: The New Deal, Art, and Democracy by Roger G. Kennedy
Pet Show Poster
1934: A New Deal for Artists by Ann Prentice Wagner
Soul of a People: The WPA Writer’s Project Uncovers Depression America by David A. Taylor

May 2, 1947

“HYDE PARK, Thursday—…The other day, I received from Sir Carl Berendsen a most beautiful wooden case made by disabled veterans of New Zealand. Of every variety of New Zealand wood, it contains three drawers. In one of them there was a bound collection of photographs taken during my visit to New Zealand a few years ago. In the second drawer, there was a bound collection of newspaper clippings, and in the third, a volume of clippings which appeared at the time of my husband’s death.

I spent quite a little while looking over the photographs and remembering the very beautiful New Zealand countryside. How courageous and independent her people are, and how well her men and women alike stood up under the sacrifices of the war!

New Zealand is largely an agricultural country. I remember how amused I was to see cows wearing coats in the fields. Women left alone during the war ran these large dairy and sheep farms without any help, for men were just not to be found. There is very little great wealth in New Zealand but, as far as I could see, no great poverty, either.

Hunting and fishing are popular sports. I was amused to have it pointed out to me that, though some of their trout had come from the United States, the transplanting had done wonders and the trout were now many times larger than they were in their original habitat.

There must be hundreds of young American men who spent some time in New Zealand during the war. And I am sure that none of them will ever forget the kindness and hospitality shown them by people who were harassed by troubles but who nevertheless found time to show their gratitude to us by being kind to our men stationed there.

It was Prime Minister Peter Fraser’s kind thought in sending me the wooden cabinet that has led to all of these reminiscences. I hope he will be pleased that, because of their historical value, I am putting the cabinet and the bound volumes it contains into the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, where future students can examine them.”

Click here for the complete My Day article.

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