Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s connection to the Hudson River Valley began with his birth here in 1882 and it continues to this day. Just as the Hudson River Valley was “the landscape that defined America”, so it was also the landscape that defined Franklin Roosevelt. Throughout his early years, his education, his nascent political career, and finally his Presidency, his estate in Hyde Park was always his home, physically and spiritually. It was here that he developed his love for the natural world on his sprawling estate. It was here that he recuperated from polio, a debilitating disease that robbed him of mobility but never dampened his courage or determination. It was here, during that recuperation, that his family, friends and allies alike—including Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Louis McHenry Howe, and Herbert Lehman—convinced him to restart his political career, a decision that would eventually lead him to the governorship of New York and the Presidency. And it was to here, in April 1945, at his first and only permanent home, that his body was finally laid to rest after suffering a fatal cerebral hemorrhage while vacationing in Warm Springs, Georgia.
Years prior to his death, Roosevelt commissioned the construction of our nation’s first Presidential Library, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, to be built a short walk from his home, Springwood, in Hyde Park. The Library was completed while he was still alive—in fact, he remains the only President to have used his library while still serving in the White House. He wanted the American people to have access to as many of his personal and public papers as possible. After his death, his wife Eleanor worked to preserve this legacy. Over the ensuing years, his friends, supporters, and admirers have strived tirelessly to ensure public access to and preservation of the Roosevelt legacy. Today, his Hyde Park estate remains the premier location for study of his life and Presidency. The National Park Service manages his mansion and the property of his estate, while the National Archives and Records Administration oversees the Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the new Henry A. Wallace Visitors and Education Center. The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, whose mission is to "inform new generations of the ideals and achievements of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and to inspire the application of their spirit of optimism and innovation to the solution of current problems," serves as the non-profit fundraising organization for the Library and Museum. It also funds conferences, educational programs, and grants to scholars, as well as the Four Freedoms Awards. These prestigious medals are given to public figures whose life’s work have helped sustain Roosevelt’s call to establish a world based on the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Together, these organizations work to further enlighten future generations and do justice to Roosevelt’s vision of informed citizenship.
Neil Bhatiya, Marist ’06,
David Woolner, PhD
FDR Presidential Library and Museum Homepage
Research at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum
Resources for Teachers
FDR Biography Page
Biographies of Roosevelt Era Figures
The Roosevelt Institute
Institutions Dedicated to the Study of the Roosevelt Era:
Roosevelt University - Center for New Deal Studies
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School - Electronic Version of Selected Papers of Franklin Delano Roosevelt