Sunday, August 20, 2006

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library and Museum

We made an unanticipated stop on our trip to Montreal: the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library and Museum. The FDR Memorial in Washington, DC is a favorite monument for us to bring visitors. It is compelling, not only because they have a statue of Falla, FDR's dog, but also because the vision of FDR of government helping people in the United States and around the world is a compelling one and an important one for us to remember in this dark time of US imperialism and selfishness led by the current POTUS. So seeing that FDR's childhood home in Hyde Park, NY was just off the road that we were traveling was too much for us to resist. We stopped. I really wanted to see Val-Kill, the home of Eleanor, especially after Franklin died, but it was closed for renovations. We decided to see FDR's childhood home and the Presidential museum and library instead. It was well worth the time. The guidebooks recommend a minimum of ninety minutes to see the site and it is worth every minute. We started with a film that covered FDR's presidency. Then went on the walking tour of the home and finally went to see the rose garden of FDR's mother, Sarah Delano, and then the library and museum. All were delightful.

There was a video in the library that we only watched for a few minutes as it presented a rather antiquated view of Eleanor as the reclining flower coming to bloom only through FDR's nurturance. We didn't spend long watching it. I have committed to reading Blanche Weisen Cook's two volume biography of Eleanor--long but I hope it will be well worth it. Except for that small quibble, (which would have, I'm sure been much larger and even a rant instead of a quibble had we watched more of the film) FDR's library and museum is a treat.

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