Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top 10 Views of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in D.C.

FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated on May 2, 1997, by President Clinton. It is something to see the next time you are in D.C. The best time of year is during the blooming cherry blossoms. It is located on one of the borders of the Tidal Basin.

1.I stumbled upon the memorial while seeking out cherry trees in April of 2012. It is not a big towering monument but it is huge. The memorial is 7.5 acres and covers the history of the 32nd President of the United States. Franklin Delano Roosevelt held this office longer than any other President from March 4, 1933 until April 12, 1945.

2.The FDR Memorial was dedicated in 1997 by President Bill Clinton.  It is relatively new. Roosevelt himself never wanted something so big.  He wanted something the size of his desk top with only his name written on it. The area of the memorial is reclamation land from dredging the Potomac River but it sits in a very prominent spot along the Tidal Basin just around the bend from The Jefferson Memorial.  That memorial sits directly across from the White House and was officially dedicated by President Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birthday. Almost two years to the day, he died of congestive heart failure at the beginning of his fourth term. He was 63 years old. I am not sure what that means is president years. We all know how this office can age a man.

3. He was stricken with polio at the age of 39 at the very prime of his age and the beginning of his political career.  His disability was often covered up and the focus was on his abilities. Note the cap, that would have concealed the heavy braces on his legs or the wheelchair he used.

4. He served as President of the United States for 12 years and was elected to 4 terms  There are rules against that now, you can only served two consecutive terms but he served the presidency longer than any other American.

5. Roosevelt was the first to address the nation using the radio with his "fireside chats. He supported and came to the aid of farmers and he lead the country through the trying times of The Great Depression. .He made it personal by coming into people's homes.  He didn't just address Congress he addressed the nation. 

6. He was the first to appoint a woman to his cabinet and relied on his wife Eleanor to be his eyes and ears of the pulse of the nation.  Eleanor Roosevelt was probably the most active of the first ladies and could be considered one of the first bloggers, I suppose.  She wrote a daily newspaper column called "My Day". She championed women and minority rights.  Her press conferences were held  with only female reporters because, her husband had all men. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the first American delegate to the United Nations and she spearheaded the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

7. The New Deal is represented on the Mural Wall in the background and the pillars represent the people that benefited from these programs. Many New Deal programs remain active, with some still operating under the original names, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The largest programs still in existence today are the Social Security System and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). WPA programs and CCC

8. Waterfalls can be found in each of the designated rooms that represent the four terms of FDR.

9. The memorial has many of FDR's quotes etched in stone.  His most famous quote, of course was used at his first inauguration, "The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself".

10. The Roosevelt in a wheelchair statue stands as a symbol that a disability is not a handicap. This statue was added January 2001.

This information is not found at the FDR Memorial in D.C. but I did get curious. Why is Roosevelt on the dime? Answer found at the U.S. Mint website.

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