A New Deal for a New Generation

Rededicating the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum 

Watch:
Webcast of the Rededication Ceremony
from June 30, 2013

"Let us carry on the good that the past gave us. The best of that good is the spirit of America. And the spirit of America is the spirit of inquiry, of readjustment, of improvement, above all a spirit in which youth can find the fulfillment of its ideals. It is for the new generation to participate in the decisions and to give strength and spirit and continuity to our Government and to our national life." - FDR, 1935

 

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum announces the completion of the first renovation of the Library building since it opened in 1941. The National Archives and Records Administration will formally open the Library's new state-of-the-art permanent museum exhibits on June 30, 2013 (museum visitors can see the exhibits between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., regular admission fees apply). An invitation-only, private Rededication Ceremony -- scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on June 30 -- will be webcast live at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu.

FDR spoke at the Library's Dedication on June 30, 1941.

He Built It

The Library reflects the vision that its founder displayed when he spoke at the dedication of the library on June 30, 1941. To maintain archival facilities and records, he stated: ". . . a Nation must believe in three things. It must believe in the past. It must believe in the future. It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgment in creating their own future." The library that bears his name has carried forward Roosevelt's message and has stimulated productive scholarship on his life and times in the same spirit.

We Renovated It

A full-scale renovation of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum began in May 2010. With the exception of two wings added in 1972 in honor of Mrs. Roosevelt, it is the first renovation of the Roosevelt Library since it was opened to the public on June 30, 1941. The project consisted of two phases over three years with a budget of $35 million in federal funding. The renovation brings the Library’s archives and museum up to the National Archives’s standards for the preservation of historic collections, while carefully preserving the building’s historic appearance.

The New Generation

As generations of Americans with no personal memory of the Roosevelt Era emerge, it is more critical than ever that the lives and legacies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt be preserved and presented to new generations. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum stands ready to serve as a visible and valuable resource for educators and students, children and families, and an international audience seeking to understand the past to make a better tomorrow. With a newly renovated building and new permanent museum exhibits -- opening on June 30, 2013 -- the Library seeks to honor President Roosevelt's vision in dedicating his Library to the American people. The FDR Presidential Library is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

New Permanent Exhibit

First inaugural galleryThe Roosevelt Library’s new permanent museum exhibits were recently installed with $6 million in private funds raised by the Roosevelt Institute, the Library’s private, non-profit partner.

The new exhibits tell the story of the Roosevelt presidency beginning in the depths of the Great Depression and continuing through the New Deal and World War II with an emphasis on both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationship with the American people.

Special interactives, immersive audiovisual theaters, and rarely seen artifacts convey the dramatic story of the Roosevelt era as the Roosevelt Library brings a “New Deal to a New Generation.”

The new museum contains many interactive exhibits including touch screen experiences at the Oval Office Desk and FDR’s Ford Phaeton. “Confront the Issues” are ten interactive touch screens strategically located throughout the exhibition that offer visitors the opportunity to explore digital “flipbooks” that contain documents, Map Room interactive in the Library's new permanent exhibitphotographs, and excerpts from historians -- with multiple viewpoints -- related to controversial issues during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. Topics include “Japanese American Internment,” “FDR and the Holocaust,” “FDR’s Health,” and “Did the New Deal Really Work?”

The new galleries feature two immersive Fireside Chat Environments. Each of these environments will have a radio and period furnishings, inviting visitors to sit and listen. After the Chat audio concludes, visitors can hear readings of actual letters -- representing a variety of opinions -- giving the visitor a chance to hear how Americans felt about the president’s leadership during the Depression and World War II. The 500 square foot Map Room exhibit recreates FDR’s secret White House Map Room. The walls within the room also feature projections of maps and timelines of key battles and decisions, as well as animations. Visitors can follow along with the maps just as FDR did, and understand the importance and context of his strategies.

Visitors use the Oval Office desk interactive at the Library's new permanent exhibitAt the center of the Map Room are six interactive tables featuring animation and videos, spotlights on key countries and meetings that took place during the war, and trivia quiz opportunities. It also displays memos, calendars, and multiple maps used by FDR and his military advisers.

“Behind the Scenes” provides visitors with an extraordinary opportunity to see large numbers of museum objects that don’t appear in the permanent exhibition. This special area of the new museum features storerooms with large glass viewing areas making it possible for visitors to get a special peek into the collections of the President and First Lady. Here, visitors can see FDR’s model ship collection, his 1936 Ford Phaeton (with hand-controls), Val-Kill furniture, family paintings and portraits, New Deal art and gifts of state.

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