"…Pete Seeger, the folk singer. He lives not far from me near Beacon, N. Y., and is loved by many people, young and old, who have enjoyed his music."
-Eleanor Roosevelt, January 15, 1962
Pete Seeger (1919-2014) was one of the Roosevelt Library’s iconic Hudson Valley neighbors. In 2008 Pete performed here as part of our Young Emerging Artists Show, teaching children to better the world through caring and song.
Eleanor Roosevelt and Pete Seeger shared a vision for a more equal world. In 1944, Pete was photographed singing for a racially integrated crowd at the opening of the Washington Labor Canteen, with Eleanor Roosevelt seated front and center.
Letter from Damon Cleveland to President Reagan Urging the Creation of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday
Several students from the P.S. 241 school in Brooklyn, New York wrote letters to President Reagan shortly after his inauguration, urging him to make Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday.
On November 2, 1983, President Reagan signed the Act of Congress that created the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday to occur on the third Monday in January.
"Please put this at the top of your list of things to do."
from the Presidential Timeline
A Roosevelt Family Christmas
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were married in the spring of 1905. For Christmas that year, Franklin’s mother gave the newlyweds this sketch of a double townhouse she planned to build in New York City - one side for her and the other for them. Completed in 1908, the house had connecting doors on several floors.
-from the FDR Library
On November 7, 2000, Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the United States Senate for the state of New York. Her election had several firsts - she was the first female Senator from New York and the only First Lady to run for public office. Clinton was sworn in on January 3, 2001 and she served as both a Senator and First Lady until January 20th.
Photograph of President William Jefferson Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton Applauding during Election Night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, New York, 11/07/2000
Remembering September 11
Photo: President George W. Bush holds the badge of George Howard, a police officer killed in the September 11 attacks.
On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed a Joint Session of Congress. Toward the end of his speech, the president held up the NYPD silver badge and said,
“I will carry this. It is the police shield of a man named George Howard who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others. It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. It is my reminder of lives that ended and a task that does not end.”
-from the George W. Bush Library
Diana Vreeland was born on this day, July 29, 1906.
Vreeland, was a prominent fashion journalist and the developer of the show. The show featured the clothing and accessories of ten women noted for their individuality and the impact they had on American style. Those profiled included dancer Isadora Duncan, artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and entertainer Josephine Baker. Sculptures, paintings, and photographs supplemented the garments on display.
After the tour Mrs. Ford greeted the Museum and Costume Institute staff who created the exhibit and built the displays.
Day 3: June 27
President Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned the construction of a library and museum to house his vast collection of papers, books, and memorabilia. Many previous presidents donated their papers to the Library of Congress, but this was not the best fit for Roosevelt. Not only was his collection too expansive for that institution at the time, but Roosevelt was concerned about having all of the nation’s important documents housed in only one place. Instead, he built a new facility on a 16 acre section of his mother’s home in Hyde Park, NY – an institution that would become the nation’s first presidential library.
The official Library dedication was a small, quiet affair, with close friends and family attending the ceremony. No formal invitations were issued, but a small article appeared in the paper a few days before the ceremony inviting Roosevelt’s Hudson Valley neighbors to join them for the dedication at 4pm on June 30, 1941. A few speeches were given, and the Library was officially opened to the public.
George Washington is inaugurated as the first President on this day in 1789. Shown here, his handwritten inauguration speech.
Wondering why Inauguration Day now falls on January 20th? Find out from the FDR Library.
On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the Presidential oath on a second floor balcony of Federal Hall. Below, an enthusiastic crowd assembled in the streets. The President and members of Congress then retired to the Senate Chamber, where Washington delivered his first inaugural address.
Keenly aware of the momentousness of the occasion, Washington accepted the Presidency and spoke of his determination to make the American experiment a success. He humbly noted the power of the nation’s call for him to serve as President and the shared responsibility of the President and Congress to preserve “the sacred fire of liberty” and a republican form of government. You can read the transcript of this speech.