Hyde Park is literally steeped in history, and no place more so than in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt complex that includes the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. Dedicated to preserving historical material and providing innovative educational programs, community events and public outreach, it is one of 12 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. And situated in a village that works to honor the rich legacy of the past in so many ways, the Library is a resource for one and all – just as FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt imagined it would be.
In keeping with that mission, the Library and Museum will host an afternoon of Presidents’ Day events on Saturday, February 18 beginning at 2 p.m. in the Henry A. Wallace Center. Professor of History at Washington College Richard Striner is the author of Lincoln’s Way: How Six Great Presidents Created American Power. Striner will talk and sign copies of his book: the story of America’s rise to global power and the presidential leaders who envisioned it and made it happen. From Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt within the Republican Party, the legacy was passed along to FDR – the Democratic Roosevelt – who bequeathed it to Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
Striner investigates presidential balance among competing visions and values as the government operated on a larger and larger world stage, and he asks why some presidents succeeded in achieving that balance while applying their power and influence, while others failed. The six presidents Striner presents, three from each party, drew from both conservative and liberal ideas, consolidating powerful centrist governance. Lincoln’s Way offers both an intriguing way of looking at the past and a much-needed lens through which to view the present.
Following the book-signing, visitors can view original documents from the Roosevelt Library archives bearing the signatures of many of our nation’s presidents, including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. Over 30 signatures will be on display in the Research Room of the Wallace Center, most of which were collected by FDR himself. Archivists will be on hand to answer questions about these rare documents, which are on display only once a year. There will also be a short video presentation and family-friendly activities relating to presidential history. The event is free and open to the public.