A Presidential love letter to Libraries during National Library Week. Pictured here is President Ford’s 1976 message honoring libraries and librarians.
“In the finest American tradition, our public libraries offer all our citizens a chance to improve themselves and to broaden their horizons.”
“I am a little country boy eight years old.”
-Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson letter to FDR
A guest post from Sherri DeCoursey, who used the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library to find a special piece of history for her father.
For as long as I can remember, a photo of FDR and a letter have hung side-by-side in the den of Mom and Dad’s home. The yellowed letter, written by FDR’s secretary Missy LeHand, was in response to a letter my father wrote the President in 1941. My dad—Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson—was eight years old in 1941. Dad will be 80 in June of this year…
Wouldn’t it be amazing, I thought, to have a glimpse of my father at such a young age—however small that glimpse was—if only to expand what I already knew about him as a father, business professional, family provider, veteran, jokester, and as we’ve grown older—a friend. What in the world would eight-year-old Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson have to say to the man running the country during such perilous times?
Seventy-two years after my father penned his letter, I discovered the answer to these questions in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Read more on The National Archives blog
FDR’s Accessibility Designs
The FDR Library was conceived and built under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s direction during 1939-41.
Because a 1921 attack of polio had left Roosevelt paralyzed from the waist down, FDR primarily used personally-designed wheelchairs for daily mobility. Since he intended to personally and regularly use the vast collection of papers and manuscripts housed in the archives at the Library, he made sure the storage area aisles were built wide enough to accommodate his wheelchair.
He also personally designed the document storage boxes initially used to house his papers. To enable his own lap-top style reading while in the storage areas, a special box type was created that could lie flat on the shelf, open in a clam-shell fashion, and act as a sort of paper tray. Read More
Pictured, an archivist in the FDR Library archival stacks, circa 1950. The document boxes were designed by FDR.
White House Photo Flipbooks can now be viewed on the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum website.
The photo-rich website goes live today, and features Flipbook galleries and a 360-degree artifact viewers. A powerful zoom tool enables visitors to see Presidential Gifts up close, such as the baseball bat presented to President Bush on March 30, 2001 at a reception to honor members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Also featured is the bull horn President Bush used to speak to the first responders working at Ground Zero when he visited New York City on September 14, 2001.
The menus pictured is one of many featured in the Dining and Diplomacy Flipbook. It’s from the White House Dinner in honor of the Governors of the States and Territories. 2/24/08.
There’s much more to explore here - George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum website.
NARA’s Presidential Libraries house over half a million artifacts - too many to exhibit at any one time! When artifacts are not on display they are preserved in a proper environment using protective storage techniques. Artifacts come in a variety of shapes and sizes so many different storage options are needed to accommodate them. We usually provide a tray, box, bag or other type of container to protect the artifact. Storage techniques developed by NARA’s Preservation Programs, like the ones shown here, provide maximum visibility while decreasing the need for handling the artifact.
Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.
What was President Franklin Roosevelt doing on December 7, 1941, before he learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? Which advisers did he summon when he realized that America was on the brink of war?
Most Americans know where the President was on December 8th, but where was he on December 6th … or the 9th? Find the answers in a new feature from the Roosevelt Library, FDR Day by Day, an interactive timeline that traces FDR’s appointments, travel schedule, social events, guests, and more.
On the afternoon of December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt was in his Oval Study in the white House having lunch. The lunch was interrupted at 1:40 p.m. by a telephone call from Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, who told him Pearl Harbor was under attack and that the military command had emphasized that this was “no drill.” This Memorandum was one of the first written damage assessments presented to the President. In his own hand, Roosevelt indicated the date and time he received it.