The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation Preserving and adapting the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the 21st century

Time to get into some "good trouble." If the moronic powers in the White House can't exercise a national mask policy, wh...
08/11/2020
Trump Considers Banning Re-entry by Citizens Who May Have Coronavirus

Time to get into some "good trouble." If the moronic powers in the White House can't exercise a national mask policy, what gives them the right, moral, or otherwise, to make these decisions? Change now!

Under the proposal, the government could block a citizen or legal resident’s entry if an official “reasonably believes” the person had been exposed to or was infected with the communicable disease.

"85 years ago this spring, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, with more than 20 percent of Chicagoans out of w...
07/21/2020
How will Chicago artists make it through the pandemic? 85 years ago the Feds had an answer. Could it work again?

"85 years ago this spring, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, with more than 20 percent of Chicagoans out of work, President Roosevelt did something unprecedented. By signing an executive order creating the WPA — one of several federal programs established during the 1930s that provided regular salaries to artists — he was promoting the role of the federal government as arts patron. He was suggesting the government should play a part in directing the cultural identity of the nation itself."

How will Chicago artists make it through the next few years?

"The last time our economy was this troubled, Herbert Hoover’s failures led to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election with a m...
07/16/2020
Opinion | We Interrupt This Gloom to Offer … Hope

"The last time our economy was this troubled, Herbert Hoover’s failures led to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election with a mandate to revitalize the nation. The result was the New Deal, Social Security, rural electrification, government jobs programs and a 35-year burst of inclusive growth that built the modern middle class and arguably made the United States the richest and most powerful country in the history of the world.

"History doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. And when I reached out through the gloom to consult experts, I was struck by how much hope I heard."

Yes, America is suffering needlessly. That may save us.

Reinhold Niebuhr "acknowledges [in 1937] that '[i]t is too early to prophesy, and much too early to write, the tragic so...
07/07/2020
What Reinhold Niebuhr Can Tell Us About Donald Trump

Reinhold Niebuhr "acknowledges [in 1937] that '[i]t is too early to prophesy, and much too early to write, the tragic social history of our era.' In the United States, national wealth and what he elsewhere terms FDR’s 'amiable opportunism' may provide salvation. But if a major economic downtown occurs, he warns, the spirit of lower middle class grievance will 'undoubtedly express itself in fascistic or semi-fascistic terms…. It may well become the decisive factor in our political life.'”
https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-reinhold-niebuhr-can-tell-us-about-donald-trump

Sinclair Lewis and Elia Kazan have had their Nostradamus moments this year, Lewis for the 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here (“predicted the rise of Donald Trump”—The Guardian) and Kazan for the 1957 film A Face in the Crowd (“foretold the rise of Donald Trump”—

Today the Roosevelt Scholars are engaging in an academic debate over the removal of historical statuary. In celebration ...
07/06/2020
Opinion | Mitch Landrieu’s Speech on the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans

Today the Roosevelt Scholars are engaging in an academic debate over the removal of historical statuary. In celebration of their efforts, and because it's well worth reading again, here is Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s 2017 speech "on the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans."

This is a transcript of the mayor’s remarks about the removal of the last Confederate monument in New Orleans.

Intriguingly, Disney+ has just added "Walt & El Grupo: The Untold Adventures" to its streaming service. If you have an i...
06/28/2020
Walt & El Grupo (2008) - IMDb

Intriguingly, Disney+ has just added "Walt & El Grupo: The Untold Adventures" to its streaming service.

If you have an interest in FDR's approach to anti-Nazi public diplomacy, this film's for you.

Directed by Theodore Thomas. With Flávio Barroso, Lee Blair, Mary Blair, James Bodrero. The story of the 1941 Goodwill Tour to South America made by Walt Disney and his staff.

155 years ago, today, General Stand Watie became one of the last Confederate officers to surrender to the Union.
06/23/2020
Stand Watie | Cherokee chief

155 years ago, today, General Stand Watie became one of the last Confederate officers to surrender to the Union.

Stand Watie, Cherokee chief who signed the treaty forcing tribal removal of the Cherokees from Georgia and who later served as brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the U.S. Civil War. Watie learned to speak English when, at the age of 12, he was sent to a mission school. He later helped

“We have a situation where there is an actual threat to all of us. It’s new, so there’s not a lot of good information ab...
05/27/2020
Foreign Disinformation and COVID-19 with Jed Willard

“We have a situation where there is an actual threat to all of us. It’s new, so there’s not a lot of good information about it. It’s a crisis situation which is leading to uncertainty and fear.

"There is a lack of scientific consensus or clear guidance coming from trusted authorities, and that leaves people desperate: desperate for any kind of information about this threat they are facing. And when people are desperate for information, and they can’t get it from the authorities, they turn to misinformation.

"They turn to their friends on Facebook, they turn to their crazy aunt in California. Because they’re trying to fill a gap. They’re trying to cope with their own anxiety - that is very real and is based on real threats - by seeking out these comforting pieces of information which may very well be completely false.”

Host Matthew Wallin and Jed Willard discuss foreign disinformation and COVID-19.

"This Memorial Day will be particularly poignant given the year’s ongoing events and remembrances marking the 75th anniv...
05/26/2020
"The News Will Get Out Soon Enough": Homefront Jim Crow and the Integration of the U.S. Navy | History News Network

"This Memorial Day will be particularly poignant given the year’s ongoing events and remembrances marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. As Americans honor those who fought for freedom and democracy in Europe and the Pacific, they would do well to also commemorate the bravery of the thirteen African American men who integrated the U.S. Navy’s officer corps during the war."

Dan C. Goldberg is a reporter for Politico and the author of The Golden Thirteen: How Black Men Won the Right to Wear Navy Gold (Beacon Press, 2020).

"For far too long we’ve lived with the comfort the movement’s sacred story provides, that the suffering of a single gene...
05/19/2020
African-Americans in the New Deal

"For far too long we’ve lived with the comfort the movement’s sacred story provides, that the suffering of a single generation of activists — great as it was — redeemed the soul of America. Now it’s time to face the fact that whatever redemption this nation can claim came through a long, hard, often dispiriting struggle littered with defeats like those the Black Cabinet experienced, inflicted by a racial system of overwhelming and enduring power. "

Jill Watts’s “The Black Cabinet” highlights the struggles of those African-Americans who worked in the Franklin Roosevelt administration.

"Whatever their style, leaders can exert strong influence on group identity – the force that turns 'me' and 'you' into '...
05/14/2020
An Abysmal Failure of Leadership | by Joseph S. Nye, Jr. - Project Syndicate

"Whatever their style, leaders can exert strong influence on group identity – the force that turns 'me' and 'you' into 'us.' Lazy leaders tend to reinforce the status quo, by tapping into existing divisions to mobilize support for themselves, as Trump has done. But effective transformational leaders can have a far-reaching impact on a society’s moral character. Mandela, for example, easily could have defined his base as black South Africans, and then sought revenge for decades of injustice. Instead, he worked tirelessly to broaden the identity of his followers."

During times of crisis, the most effective leaders are those who can build solidarity by educating the public about its own interests. Sadly, in the case of COVID-19, the leaders of the world's two largest economies have gone in the opposite direction, all but ensuring that the crisis will deepen.

"Fortunately, our 20th-century responses offer guidance, from both President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor R...
05/12/2020
Youth Crises Past and Present: Learning from the New Deal and Eleanor Roosevelt | History News Network

"Fortunately, our 20th-century responses offer guidance, from both President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, on how to diminish the damage of the coronavirus."

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/175288

Robert Cohen is the author of Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression and When the Old Left Was Young: Student Radicals and America’s First Mass Student Movement, 1929-1941.            

From FDR's Letter to Rear-Admiral Robert Byrd upon the latter's return from his second Antarctic expedition, written 85 ...
05/11/2020
Statement of Welcome to Rear-Admiral Richard E. Byrd | The American Presidency Project

From FDR's Letter to Rear-Admiral Robert Byrd upon the latter's return from his second Antarctic expedition, written 85 years ago today.

"It is no small thing to have filled in another large portion of the map of the world which hitherto had remained a blank. It is an equally great achievement to have added valuable information to at least twenty-two separate sciences.
...
"To have carried these ship comrades to a dangerous outpost, to have developed your exploratory and scientific work through many months, under the most trying conditions, and to have brought them all safely home to their country and to their families, is an achievement of which the whole Nation is proud."

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/statement-welcome-rear-admiral-richard-e-byrd

The first is because of the close association and deep friendship which have existed between you and me for many long years.

05/10/2020

[Since its creation in 1914,] "the observance of Mother's Day has assumed a deep and growing significance. It is not my purpose this year to issue a special proclamation on the subject as I believe that the attention of the American people will be so devoted to the cause of that day that repeated formal action on the part of the Chief Executive is unnecessary.

"I prefer to think that the tributes which will be paid to mothers will come simply and spontaneously from our hearts." - FDR, Mother's Day, 85 years ago

You know this country has been lead down the garden path by a feckless leader when the Irish are now sending US aid. (An...
05/08/2020
Opinion | The World Is Taking Pity on Us

You know this country has been lead down the garden path by a feckless leader when the Irish are now sending US aid. (And by the way, thank you Ireland!)

Will American prestige ever recover?

"Campaigners must realize that many do not automatically gravitate toward democracy. Even when democratic governments ar...
05/05/2020
If We Do It, Is It Propaganda?

"Campaigners must realize that many do not automatically gravitate toward democracy. Even when democratic governments are competent — not a given — democracy is an inherently complicated system. It is prone to unsatisfying compromises. It requires tolerance for speech that is not always popular. It asks citizens to actively participate in steering national life, rather than let someone else run the country while gaming the system to their personal advantage. There needs to be a convincing value proposition that democracy is worth the effort."

How should the West respond to the Kremlin’s information operations? Thomas Kent considers the implications of giving Putin “a taste of his own medicine.”

04/28/2020

75 years ago, today, Benito Mussolini was killed. FDR, Hitler, and Mussolini all perished within three weeks of one another, Roosevelt alone by natural causes.

04/24/2020

Our own Michael Weishan continues to lead our COVID response, supporting undergraduates in need.

"To date we have replaced or repaired dozens of laptops, fixed three cars and a van, paid for emergency dental surgery that would have bankrupted a family, provided more than 90 grants for food and shelter, helped with travel, storage and moving costs, paid for internet connections, and very tragically, helped one very unfortunate young lady from Mississippi whose home was destroyed three weeks ago by a tornado. We are also supplying term-time remote employment for a number of students desperately in need of income."

Friend of the Foundation Mark Plotkin writes: "The moral and practical lesson to be drawn from human-induced environment...
04/23/2020
Coronavirus and Conservation: Preventing the Next Pandemic - Los Angeles Review of Books

Friend of the Foundation Mark Plotkin writes:

"The moral and practical lesson to be drawn from human-induced environmental threats such as climate change and Covid-19 is simple: there exists a direct correlation between our lack of respect for nature and our own well-being."

“Generals always prepare to fight the last war” is a common military adage, invoked to remind leaders to plan for the future. Currently, we are immersed in what could be described as World War III. It’s not a battle in which humans fight and kill each other but are instead uniquely united in t...

London, 22 April, 1934: "There was fairly steady applause throughout Sir Oswald's speech, and three times it became almo...
04/22/2020
From the archive, 23 April 1934: Sir O. Mosley's big London meeting

London, 22 April, 1934: "There was fairly steady applause throughout Sir Oswald's speech, and three times it became almost rapturous. The first was when he said that Fascism had grown faster in Britain than anywhere else in the world. The second was when he stated that Fascism would give a man a job of government and full power to get on with it, but would dismiss him if he failed. The third was when he said that Jews would be expected to put Britain before Jewry." https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2011/apr/25/archive-oswald-mosley-london-meeting-1934

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 23 April 1934: Do people go to hear Sir Oswald Mosley because they hope to see some fisticuffs or because they think there is something in his policy? Whatever the cause he almost filled the Albert Hall tonight and got an excellent hearing

04/21/2020

On this date in 1934, Franklin and Eleanor hosted the 30th reunion for the Class of '04 at the White House. Children were welcome.

"Most people who contracted the virus exhibited either mild symptoms or none at all. Only around one percent of infected...
04/16/2020
The President vs. The Epidemic: FDR's Polio Crusade | History News Network

"Most people who contracted the virus exhibited either mild symptoms or none at all. Only around one percent of infected people experienced severe symptoms such as FDR’s."

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/174983



When FDR fell ill, scientists knew that a virus caused polio, and that the polio virus was contagious, but could say little else with certainty.

No president can end an epidemic single handedly, but they can inspire a popular movement that eradicates a disease. Such was the case with Franklin Roosevelt and polio.

Our own Jed Willard discusses COVID-19 disinformation with DC think tank ASP's Matthew Wallin. Are foreign powers manipu...
04/15/2020
Foreign Disinformation and COVID-19 with Jed Willard

Our own Jed Willard discusses COVID-19 disinformation with DC think tank ASP's Matthew Wallin.

Are foreign powers manipulating us with news about this virus?

Host Matthew Wallin and Jed Willard discuss foreign disinformation and COVID-19.

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