Today, I became a tourist in the area I grew up in-Poughkeepsie, NY. I took my partner to see the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, NY. I have been there before quite a few years ago, but going this time was seeing it through his eyes, a non-American. I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. This time I also toured the Presidential Library and Museum.
I grew up in an area rich with history being only an hour and a half from both New York City and Albany. New York state is rich with history. Up the street from FDR’s estate is the Vanderbilt Estate. The opulence, the amount of acreage, and the beautiful views. Wow!
Back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) though and Eleanor Roosevelt. What a team-what a president! FDR did more in his 4 terms serving as president of the United States than any president before or since.
Think of all the programs he helped create and initiate at one of the worst times in American history; the Great Depression. He also dealt with WWII and made difficult decisions in the 24 hours after December 7, 1941-the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1941, FDR in a small meeting with only Vice President Henry Wallace and the head of the National Defense Research Committee, Roosevelt committed the United States government to embark upon a program of intensified research into the feasibility of a fission bomb; better know as The Manhattan Project. A president having to deal with and make decisions that are good and not so good.
Back to the good-the New Deal and the 100 days of programs, initiatives and action to change the face of America: “The New Deal Roosevelt had promised the American people began to take shape immediately after his inauguration in March 1933. Based on the assumption that the power of the federal government was needed to get the country out of the depression, the first days of Roosevelt’s administration saw the passage of banking reform laws, emergency relief programs, work relief programs, and agricultural programs. Later, a second New Deal was to evolve; it included union protection programs, the Social Security Act, and programs to aid tenant farmers and migrant workers.” He also named and was instrumental in creating the United Nations although he died before seeing it in place. The United Nations purpose is to keep the peace, encourage respect for human rights, create conditions under which justice and respect for international laws and treaties can be achieved, and promote social progress and better standards of living throughout the world. Even in modern times this is important.
Becoming President at the depth of the Great Depression, FDR helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope and asserted in his Inaugural Address, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” (He is known for this quote).
To me he was humble, he was approachable, he was liked, he did not let his disability change who he was at his core. The American public knew he had polio, but not the extent he had it. He built up his upper body strength and with crutches or a cane ‘walked.’ On January 3, 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced the creation of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, better known today as the March of Dimes Foundation.
Think of all Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), 32nd president of the United States did and was involved in and with. My challenge to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is this: If you are voted in as president will you work for the American people, represent the American people, create and initiate programs that will serve all Americans; will you be approachable and at your core humble?
The types of programs and initiatives I am thinking of are: a higher minimum wage, affordable health insurance, better quality healthcare access, creation of jobs (there is much to be done to make America look and be amazing again-think FDR and the creation of the WPA and the building of schools, highways, bridges, and parks) affordable housing, affordable university fees, quality education no matter what city or town one lives in…..the list goes on and on.
Do not get me started on former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and all she did and created…… 🙂 I expect the same from potential First Hubby and 42nd President of the United States William Clinton or potential First Lady Melania Trump.