Tag Archives: FDR National Historic Site

National Park Service Hosting ‘Community Conversation’


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eleanor-rooseveltBeginning in the late 1940s historians with the National Park Service collected stories from friends, neighbors and staff of the Roosevelts and Vanderbilts. The tradition of recording people’s memories and using them to understand our history, and the people who created it carries on to this day.

The National Park Service and the Sound and Story Project have teamed up to offer two special events to be held at the Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historic Site, in Hyde Parak, NY. Continue reading

A Draft Trail Plan for Roosevelt, Vanderbilt Historic Sites


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The National Park Service has released a draft Trails Master Plan and Environmental Assessment for public review and comment. The plan is being undertaken to guide development and use of the trail system at the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites in Hyde Park, NY. There will be a public meeting on Thursday evening, June 28, 2012 at the Henry Wallace Visitor and Education Center at the FDR Library from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The project will include the trails at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Val-Kill), and the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. It will lay the groundwork for a comprehensive, well-designed, sustainable trail system which provides a variety of visitor experiences that support the parks’ missions.

The 30-day public comment period is June 15 through July 15, 2012. For more information and to obtain a copy of the plan, visit the NPS Planning, Environment & Public Comment website.

Teaching the Hudson Valley from Civil War to Civil Rights


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Educators are invited to discover new ways to use the region’s special places to teach about controversy and decision making at In Conflict Crises: Teaching the Hudson Valley from Civil War to Civil Rights and Beyond. Registration is now open for THV’s annual institute, July 24-26, at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home and Presidential Library in Hyde Park.

This year’s opening talk, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Controversy and  Connection in the Classroom of Life, will feature Kim and Reggie Harris, musicians, storytellers, educators, and interpreters of history. Accepting THV’s invitation they wrote, “Our nation’s history is filled with conflict, opposition, controversy, and crisis, but is also rich in perseverance, collaboration, determination, and compromise. We look forward to reflecting on ways to use these realities to prepare students to be thinkers and problem solvers.”

During the institute, more than 15 workshops will connect educators with historians, writers, and scientists, as well as their colleagues from schools, parks, and historic sites throughout the Valley. Topics include
Evaluating Scientific Claims (Cary Institute), Using ELA Common Core to Teach Controversy (Lewisboro Elementary School teachers), and Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State and the Civil War, (New York State Museum).

On day 2 of the institute participants will choose one of six in-depth field experiences at Columbia County History Museum (Kinderhook), Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site and FDR Presidential Library (Hyde Park), Fishkill Depot, Katherine W. Davis River Walk Center (Sleepy Hollow), Mount Gulian Historic Site (Beacon), or Palisaides Interstate Park.

You can find out more about the program online

Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, courtesy Bill Urbin, Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, National Park Service.

‘History Speaks’ Costumed Tours of FDR Home


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The Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites announce a new living history program allowing visitors to experience the FDR Home through the eyes of the Roosevelts’ staff.

“History Speaks” is a one-hour tour which introduces the visitor to the Butler, Cook, Maid, and one of FDR’s Secret Service agents. Visitors will step back in time to 1939 and be guided through the house by these costumed interpreters who reveal the inner workings of the Roosevelt household , including hosting a special visit of England’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Hyde Park earlier that year. This marked the first time in American history that a reigning British Monarch had visited the United States.

Sarah Olson, Superintendent of the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, commented: “We’re excited to offer the public a unique way to engage with our national history, at a dramatic moment in Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidency.”

This first person costumed interpretive program will be offered on Saturday June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, and October 8, 2012 throughout the day. Reservations can be made by calling 845-229-5320. Regular admission fee applies.

Place-Based Education Resource Fair Wednesday


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Teaching the Hudson Valley (THV) invites teachers, 4H and scout leaders, home schoolers, PTA activists, and others working with children and teens to drop in for a free place-based education resource fair between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 16, at the Wallace Education & Visitor Center on the grounds of the FDR Home and Presidential Library in Hyde Park.

Many educators are familiar with field trips offered by local museums, historical societies and sites, parks, and environmental groups in our region. Fewer are aware of the artifacts and primary sources, staff expertise, traveling trunks, in-school programs, and other resources sites are eager to share. The fair is designed to give educators from sites in the mid-Hudson area an opportunity to talk with teachers and youth group leaders one-on one and describe what they have to offer. At the same time, teachers and others will be able to explain what would be helpful to their students and programs.

Light refreshments will be served and drawings will be held for items ranging from private tours of area historic sites to books and water bottles. While the event is free, interested parties are asked to RSVP to Info@TeachingtheHudsonValley.org or 845-229-9116, ext. 2035, with their names and schools or organizations. Pre-registration is required to be entered into the drawings.

NPS Historian Talk on FDR, Hyde Park Memorial


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National Park Service Historian, Dr. Dennis Montagna will present a talk entitled “A Designing President—FDR and his Enduring Memorial” this Sunday, April 15 at 2:00 PM. The talk will be held at the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center located at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York. It is free and open to the public.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt left detailed instructions regarding his burial in the rose garden at his Hyde Park estate. He also designed the monument to mark the site. Dr. Montagna will share information about the reasons behind FDR ‘s burial decisions and how some of his last wishes were not instituted.


After the presentation, there will be an informal ceremony in the Rose Garden to mark the 67th anniversary of FDR’s burial.

The talk coincides with the opening of a new exhibit in the Roosevelt Carriage House entitled: “Enduring Memorial: FDR’s Final Resting Place”. Beginning April 15, the exhibit is open daily 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Carriage House is located behind the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

New Deal Youth Exhibit in Woodstock


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A new exhibition opened Saturday at the Woodstock School of Art (2470 Route 212, Woodstock) entitled “A New Deal for Youth: Eleanor Roosevelt, Val-Kill Industries and the Woodstock Resident Work Center”.

The exhibit offers a rare chance to see furniture, pewter, and weavings from the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites’ collection of Val-Kill Industries pieces; photographs and historical documents from the Woodstock School of Art’s and Woodstock Historical Society’s collections; and video recollections of living descendants of some of the young people who worked at the Craft Center.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will remain on view through November 5th. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 9am-3pm.

Books: FDR’S Shadow, Louis Howe


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Last year’s FDR’S Shadow: Louis Howe, The Force That Shaped Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by Syracuse resident Julie Fenster has been released on paperback.

In 1921, Franklin Delano Roosevelt—the 1920 vice presidential candidate on the losing Democratic ticket—was overcome by an illness that left him unable to walk. He retired to his family estate in Hyde Park with his wife, Eleanor, who was suffering emotional problems of her own. For the Roosevelts, it was the low point of their lives. At that juncture, Roosevelt’s adviser, Louis Howe, moved in with them, lifting the Roosevelts’ spirits and helping to maintain Franklin’s connection to the world of politics.

Three years later, against all odds, FDR was once again a key player on the national political stage and Eleanor had blossomed into the public figure we all know and love. With her signature insight and wit, Julie Fenster presents a vivid, behind-the-scenes portrait of the world of the Roosevelts during this critical time, and the unique relationship Franklin, Eleanor, and Louis developed.

The Washington Times described their realtionship: “Indeed every member of both houses of the Congress has at least one ‘dragon-at-the-gate’ who rations access to the boss, who edits the speeches, and keeps a check on promises that cannot be kept. But the Howe-Roosevelt symbiotic relationship is a darker story and Ms. Fenster brings a new depth to it.”

Julie M. Fenster is the critically acclaimed author of The Case of Abraham Lincoln and is the co-author with Douglas Brinkley of the New York Times bestseller Parish Priest and the forthcoming PBS documentary Faith and the Founders of America. Her previous books include the award-winning Ether Day and Race of the Century. She lives in Syracuse, New York.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Roosevelt Historic Site Celebrates FDR Birthday Sunday


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The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, NY will celebrate FDR’s 129th birthday on Sunday, January 30th at 3:00 PM in the Rose Garden. The event will include remarks by newly elected Republican U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson (20th District), the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s Honor Guard and Color Guard, a presentation of wreaths and flowers, and a birthday cake and refreshments to follow at the Wallace Visitor Center. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held in the Wallace Visitor Center. For more information, contact Fran Macsali-Urbin at 845-229-2501.