Friday, January 29, 2016

Ten Views of Franklin D Roosevlet's Home

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born January 30 1882 at Springwood in Hyde Park, New York and died April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia.

Visiting Springwood on the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York as it stands today.  It is where Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born, lived most of his life and was brought home and laid to rest in the rose garden. It somewhat resembles the White House, in my opinion but it did not always look like that.He did spend four terms there. He must have liked the look.

Below you can see what the original farmhouse looked like when his father James purchased it in 1867. He was the only child of James Roosevelt and Sara Delano. His parents were sixth cousins. Sara was James second wife, his first wife died and they had a son together, James. He would have been Franklin's half brother.

Inside the house are many remnants of the family and their life throughout the years that they lived there. There is a bronze statue of Roosevelt in the Entrance Hall and many nautical photographs and paintings on the wall I attribute to his Assistant Secretary of the Navy years.

The library/living room, I call the chair room. You can find two governors chairs, his wheelchair and a child's Windsor back chair among the vast collection of chairs in this room. From watching the video on C-Span, I mention at the bottom of the list, I learned of the two governors chairs framing the fireplace (one is hidden by the lamp) were occupied by Roosevelt an his mother. They would sit in these two chairs on election night and await the results. He designed his wheel chair from a kitchen chair and created the hardware so it would fold and be easily transported. In this one picture alone I count 11 chairs.

I found the furniture in the dining room interesting,   It is made of heavy carved ornate walnut. I am assuming the furniture came from the Delano side of the family since they traveled to China for trade and Sara spent some time there. It would not fit in my house it is too big, but interesting pieces nonetheless. The shades on the lamps do not go all the way around, that is rather odd but interesting on the same thought.  I wonder what it does to the light.

The stairs were roped off so I did not think we were going to get to go up and then our guide split us into two groups and up we went. Climbing the stairs I wondered how Franklin would have gotten up the stairs and there it was, an elevator.

The Pink Room is fit for a Queen. Queen Elizabeth and King George the VI stayed here during their visit to Hyde Park. Maybe just a touch too flowery for the King.

The renovated house has 35 rooms and 9 baths.  This bathroom was once a closet turned into a bathroom. Originally the house had only two bathrooms. Notice there is no shower and the beautiful hard wood floors, marble counter top and such nicely folded towels. Where is all their stuff? Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, water glass, should all be cluttering that bathroom. I am glad tours don't come through my house.

I am not sure which came next down the hallway but here you go, the Birthing Room. President Roosevelt was born here.  I don't know if anyone else was but he and Eleanor did have 6 children, 5 lived to adulthood. It is a terrible photograph on my part but I have to show it.  It is nostalgic, President Roosevelt was born here. I found the title on the book across the room in the second photograph  "Life" to be most appropriate. It must have been staged. Franklin weigh in at 10 lbs, a big boy, according to the writings of his father.

I found the Boyhood Room to be fascinating. It wasn't that big. Franklin used this room from boyhood until he was married. The Crimson sign above the door hung over his office at Harvard when he was the editor of the college newspaper.

The Chintz Room was used by Eleanor and Franklin until renovations were done and the south wing was added. Later it was used as a guest room.  The twin beds were made at Val-Kill Industries a company operated by Mrs. Roosevelt and friends during the late 20's and early 30's. Val-Kill was an area on the Roosevelt estate where Eleanor could explore her interests.

This is the President's bedroom.  He and Eleanor shared the room until he was stricken with polio. The connecting door leads to Eleanor's room. I just recently read, Roosevelt may not have had polio, Guillain-Barre Syndrome more closely matches his condition. If this were the cause treatment may have produced a different result but what the polio diagnosis did was lead to a greater awareness of this disease and the creation of the March of Dimes.

Franklin Roosevelt designed his own library and it is said to be the first Presidential library. It was built by Philadelphia contractor, John McShain. Roosevelt wanted to preserve his papers and collections he had gathered over his political career, he did not have enough room in his house.  It is said to be one of the most extensive collections of all the Presidential libraries. Eleanor's wing also contains many items of interest and quite research worthy. The Roosevelts kept all correspondence. It is weird to think if they were emails, that would all be on a server somewhere. I did not get into the library but from what I have read, if you meet the proper criteria you may do your research there. Criteria could be as simple as an interest in the family, they were very interesting people or an interest in that period in time in history, another compelling topic. I don't know the specifics to qualify but I had heard the staff is most welcoming and accommodating.

Freedom Court is located in front of the Eleanor Roosevelt addition of the library. It commemorates the vision of two great heads of state Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, warriors of peace.
The sculptor in the background is called Break Free.  It was created from sections of the Berlin Wall by artist Edwina Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill. Human figure are shown breaking free of symbolic barbed wire - expressing freedom's triumph over totalitarianism. To me this was the most striking part of the visit.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia.  He had requested to be buried in the rose garden at Springwood in Hyde Park, New York.  His grave is marked by the United States flag.

Eleanor died in November 1962 and was laid to rest to the right of her husband at Springwood.

FDR's 134th Birthday and Gravesite Ceremony
January 30, 2016, 3 p.m., Hyde Park, Gravesite and Henry A. Wallace Center
Remarks by FDR Presidential Library Director Paul Sparrow, with Birthday Celebration following. I am sure Eleanor will be there, if only in spirit.

The United States Military Academy at West Point provides an honor guard and color guard for FDR's birthday commemoration. 

I found this on the Internet

I included all the history making Roosevelts this week because it is difficult to mention one without the connection they all had to each other. Many books, documentaries, opinions, myths, blogs etc. have been written about each of them. Franklin was elected to four terms in the White House. Not every one liked him but according to votes most did and no one can deny the efforts he made to improve Americans way of life, as he struggled with his own disabilities.

Happy Birthday Mr. Roosevelt and thank you for benefits generations before and after me have and will gain from your accomplishments. 

To visit any of the Roosevelt National Historic Sites allow for plenty of time, there is a lot there. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor was the fifth cousin and wife of  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States and the niece of Teddy, the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt, . Her father Elliot was the younger brother of Theodore. She was a powerful and outspoken First Lady.

The Roosevelt's led a complicated life. To try and simplify a complicated woman whose platform became to raise consciousness to women's right I share some of her best quotes copied onto photographs taken at Val-Kill on the Roosevelt Estate in Hyde Park, New York.  Val-Kill the only First Lady Historic Site to date is located two miles from Springwood, the Roosevelt House in Hyde Park.  It became a year round retreat for Mrs. Roosevelt and a place where she could grow, express herself and contemplate many of the following quotes.

Val-Kill is a beautiful place to visit in the fall. 
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 - November 7, 1962).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Things to know about Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt.

He was born into wealth in New York City and later lived in Oyster Bay, New York.

He was a sickly child, he had asthma and was home schooled. He later attended Harvard.
Teddy Roosevelt as a Rough Rider led the charge in the Spanish American War.

He is the only President to receive the Medal of Honor. His Son, Theodore Jr. was also a Medal of Honor recipient. The Roosevelt's also lost their youngest son during the war.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating the Peace Treaty of Portsmouth that ended the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.

He doubled the size of the National Parks and his face graces the infamous Mt. Rushmore with some of this countries greatest Presidents. He also often ranks in the Top 5 lists of Greatest American Presidents.

The Teddy Bear was named for Teddy Roosevelt. It reflects a story of a hunting excursion Roosevelt was on in Mississippi that was popularized through a cartoon.

The Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone is named for him and his efforts to preserve land. It is special to stand at a place where the 26th President of the United States once stood, and even more special to have the preserved lands in our National Parks.

He was behind the building of the Panama Canal to assist naval ships and trade between the east coast and the west coast.

He coined the phrase "Good to the last drop", that is used in advertising for Maxwell coffee.

This is just the short list, I recommend finding this video on YouTube to learn even more about the 26th President of the United States. He was quite the character. The Roosevelts by Ken Burns is very good too!


Teddy Roosevelt and his fifth cousin FDR both went to Harvard, were Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Governor of New York State before becoming 26th and 32nd President of the United States. Both were champions for the ordinary man believing they should receive a Square Deal and provided for a New Deal when it was desperately needed.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in North Dakota.

Sagamore Hill, the Summer White House if President Theodore Roosevelt is located in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. It is a National Historic Site.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Upcoming January events last week 26-31

January 26 "Delaware County Yesterday and Today" by Delaware County Historian Keith Lockhart. This PowerPoint program will feature well known places throughout Delaware County, how they looked 100 years ago and today. The 7:30 lecture will be preceded by a short business meeting at 7 p.m. This is a free program. However, donations are sincerely appreciated. The mission of the Bethel Township Preservation Society is to preserve the history of Bethel Township through the preservation of historic structures and features, community education and guidance, and the creation of archival records. Event 7:30 p.m. - 8;30 p.m. at John L. Myers Memorial Township Building, 1082 Bethel Road, Garnet Valley, PA.

January 27 International Holocaust Remembrance Day,  is an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust, the genocide that resulted in the annihilation of 6 million European Jews and millions of others by the Nazi regime. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session. January 27 is the date, in 1945, when the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops.

January 27 Tweet in for a Data Privacy Twitter Chat. Use #ChatSTC to join! Time: 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on Wed., January 27 
January 28 is Data Privacy Day an educational initiative originally focused on raising awareness among teens and young adults about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking.    

January 28 NASA remembers the 30th Anniversary of the Challenger accident, NASA Day of Remembrance will also pay tribute to the crew of Apollo 1 and Space Shuttle Challenger with a wreath laying at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia at 9 a.m., various other NASA facilities will hold ceremonies

January 28 The 2016 Chamber Bowl at Sproul Lanes in Springfield, Noon - 4 p.m.

January 29 CHOP Black Tie Tail Gate Event at the Philadelphia Auto Show.
January 30 - February 7 Philadelphia Auto Show  at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

January 30 Hand Book Binding Workshop is sold-out! The next class is April 9. Try your hand at traditional bookbinding in Historic Sugartown’s Book Bindery! Colonial Williamsburg trained instructor, Ramon Townsend of Colonial, will lead the class through the entire binding process. Participants will create a book using methods employed through the mid-19th century. Participants will also be provided step-by-step written instructions they can take home. Workshop Admission: $75/ Participant, all supplies included. Ages 14 and Up. The workshop will take place from 9AM – 3PM. Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 6 participants.Visit or call 610.640.2667 to register!

January 30 Groundhog Festival at John Heinz NWR at Tinicum 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Many activities to enjoy including a groundhog walk, crafts, music, snacks, a Weather show and a Shadow show with the Franklin Institute. a walk with LL Bean,live animals from the Philly Zoo, art contest award ceremony and at 1 p.m. a Burrow Celebration. more info at or call 215.365.3118. The Heinze NWR is located at 8601 Linbergh Blvd. Philadelphia, PA.

January 30 The Colonial Plantation will be open for a Winter Experience with farm tours, animal talks, house tours and blacksmithing 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission Adults $8 Senior Citizens and Children $6.

January 30 XFinity LIVE Winterfest Live 2016

January 30 The School Day of Non-violence and Peace (or DENIP, acronym from catalan-majorcan: Dia Escolar de la No-violència i la Pau), is an observance founded by the Spanish poet Llorenç Vidal Vidal in Majorca in 1964. It is observed on January 30 or thereabouts every year, on the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi, in schools all over the world. Season for Nonviolence was established by Arun Gandhi as a yearly event celebrating the philosophies and lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Today, he co-chairs the Season along with Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith of the Agape International Spiritual Center. It is convened by the Association for Global New Thought. The "season" begins with the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination on January 30 and ends with the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination on April 4. It is anchored by a mission, statement of principles, and commitments by participants towards living in a nonviolent way.

Now that winter has arrived it is always best to check the link or call in case a weather condition may cancel or postpone an event.