The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation

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

"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.

FDR died 75 years ago, today. How would he have led us in this crisis?"The society we live in today is based on his visi...
04/12/2020
Coronavirus: Amid crisis, challenges faced by FDR resonate on 75th anniversary of death

FDR died 75 years ago, today. How would he have led us in this crisis?

"The society we live in today is based on his vision of global cooperation and economic equality — Social Security, minimum wage, a 40-hour work week, child labor laws, the World Bank, NATO and the United Nations are all just a small part of the Roosevelt legacy. But it is his inspiring leadership in the face of global catastrophe, and his ability to speak hard truth and instill confidence in the future that are most relevant today."

https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2020/04/09/coronavirus-franklin-roosevelts-anniversary-death-resonates/2950070001/

Paul M. Sparrow, the director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, writes on FDR's legacy amid crisis for the Journal.

"But you don’t have to be a science denier to end up seduced by bad information. A pandemic makes us all excellent targe...
04/06/2020
Opinion | What We Pretend to Know About the Coronavirus Could Kill Us

"But you don’t have to be a science denier to end up seduced by bad information. A pandemic makes us all excellent targets for misinformation. No one has natural immunity to this coronavirus, leaving us all threatened and looking for information to make sense of the world. Unfortunately, the pace of scientific discovery doesn’t match the speed of our information ecosystems."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-fake-news.html

Today’s propaganda is tomorrow’s truth, and vice versa.

Those of you interested in disinformation campaigns taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis may find this report from ou...
04/06/2020
EEAS SPECIAL REPORT UPDATE: Short Assessment of Narratives and Disinformation Around the COVID-19 Pandemic - EU vs DISINFORMATION

Those of you interested in disinformation campaigns taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis may find this report from our friends and colleagues in Brussels useful. We sure did!

Disinformation and misinformation around COVID-19 continue to proliferate around the world, with potentially harmful consequences for public health and effective crisis communication.

A remarkable woman, and a message of hope from someone who knows firsthand dark times.
04/06/2020
Queen: 'We will succeed' in fight against virus

A remarkable woman, and a message of hope from someone who knows firsthand dark times.

In a rare address, the monarch says the UK "should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return".

Would you be concerned if this were the law in your country?"The order's draconian punishment of up to five years impris...
03/30/2020
Hungarian parliament votes to let Orban rule by decree

Would you be concerned if this were the law in your country?

"The order's draconian punishment of up to five years imprisonment for disseminating 'fake news' relating to the pandemic has prompted particular concern from observers."

Hungary's parliament has voted to allow Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree indefinitely, in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, giving the populist leader extra powers to unilaterally enact a series of sweeping measures.

LOL"Not long after, John Kerry, the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee, took to Twitter himse...
03/28/2020
Thomas Massie, House’s ‘Mr. No,’ Tries to Force Vote on Coronavirus Aid Bill

LOL

"Not long after, John Kerry, the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential nominee, took to Twitter himself to declare that Mr. Massie “has tested positive for being an asshole,” and should “be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity.”

“Never knew John Kerry had such a good sense of humor!” Mr. Trump quipped in a rare showing of bipartisan camaraderie. “Very impressed!”"

The Kentucky libertarian’s tactics failed, but not before forcing lawmakers back to the Capitol for passage of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, infuriating them and President Trump.

03/26/2020
Vera Lynn - When The Lights Go On Again.

We've been here before, and we'll be here again. Hang in there everyone.

A song of hope looking forward to the end of World War 2 and the Blackout, and soldiers returning home. It's hard for those of us born later to fully underst...

Obviously no one in this room remembers what happened in 1933, but we do.
03/25/2020
Dow Soars More Than 11% In Biggest One-Day Jump Since 1933

Obviously no one in this room remembers what happened in 1933, but we do.

U.S. stocks rallied on signs that lawmakers and the Trump administration were nearing a deal on a giant stimulus package aimed at limiting the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The Dow rose more than 2,100 points, an 11% gain that was its biggest one-day jump in more than 85 years.

03/21/2020
Tracking President Trump's Response To COVID-19

Asked and answered.

President Donald Trump’s response to COVID-19 has been under fire since the first cases began appearing in the United States in late January 2020. Here’s how...

It's rare that the Foundation would ever align with the Koch brothers, but we agree heartily with them that this is NOT ...
03/20/2020
Coronavirus Stimulus Package Spurs a Lobbying Gold Rush

It's rare that the Foundation would ever align with the Koch brothers, but we agree heartily with them that this is NOT the time to lobby greedy corporate self-interests. In particular, SHAME ON ADIDAS for trying to push through gym legislation at a time of national crisis!

Some industries are in dire need of a bailout. Others see a rare chance to win special breaks at a moment when the fiscal spigots are open.

85 years ago, today, the Shelterbelt Project began. This public-private partnership tackled environmental devastation in...
03/18/2020
The "No. 1 Shelterbelt" celebrates 75 years

85 years ago, today, the Shelterbelt Project began. This public-private partnership tackled environmental devastation in the American Heartland. (Hint, hint.)

"The first shelterbelt in the nation was planted near Willow, Oklahoma, about 15 miles northeast of Mangum. State Forester George R. Phillips, serving as Oklahoma State Director of the Plains Shelterbelt Project, planted the first tree, an Austrian pine (photo below), on March 18, 1935 in the "Number One Shelterbelt" on the Horace E. Curtis farm. From 1935 to 1942, the project planted about 20 million trees in 3,000 miles of shelterbelts on 5,000 western Oklahoma farms."

https://www.southernforests.org/resources/publications/the-southern-perspective/the-southern-perspective-september-2010/update-from-the-states/the-no.-1-shelterbelt-celebrates-75-years

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