Upstate New York is simply beautiful in the fall and Hyde Park is only one of the features on this scenic tour. FDR was born at Springwood, the family estate, in 1892, and grew up there. Although he had many residences; Campobello Island, Canada; Manhattan; Warm Springs, Ga.; and his three-plus terms in the White House, he considered Springwood his home. It is where he is buried, alongside Eleanor and his beloved Scottish terrier, Fala.
On this fall tour you will discover how this political giant lived, through the home he grew up in and through his career in politics. You’ll find Springwood, a National Historic Site and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum interesting and fascinating. Did you know his was the first presidential library? Then head on to Eleanor’s getaway home which she called Val-Kill – all near the beautiful Hudson River. Her modest home is the only National Historic Site dedicated to a first lady, and welcomes visitors in the style of Mrs. Roosevelt. Come and be part of the entire Roosevelt Experience and enjoy the lovely gardens and grounds on the site.
You may be surprised by how down-to-earth, intimate and homespun these homes are. Not only will you see Roosevelt’s White House desk and his wheelchair, but also the christening outfit the future president wore plus his totally undistinguished grade-school report cards – it will give you hope for the future of your children and grandchildren! There are even a couple of places in the building set up to resemble the actual places in Hyde Park where FDR broadcast his famous fireside chats.
Even Fala has his own exhibition within the museum. You’ll find some of his toys, a bowl and collar: all Fala needed on his collar was “The White House.”
Franklin Roosevelt built Top Cottage at the eastern most end of his estate on land purchased in 1937. FDR wanted Top Cottage as a place where he could return to private life after his second term as president. When he was elected to an unprecedented third term in 1940, he realized that the little retreat would be an excellent place to “escape the mob” at Springwood. It was also the perfect place to bring close friends and political allies to discuss the state of the world or simply relax. Please notice that just like Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Cottage, the FDR Library and the addition to Springwood, Top Cottage was designed to emulate the Dutch colonial architecture found throughout the Hudson River Valley. Always forward thinking, FDR planned the cottage with accessibility in mind to accommodate his wheelchair and give him greater independence. Top Cottage became part of the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in May 2001.
I am always in awe of how, through his New Deal legislation, he was able to establish the Works Projects Administration (WPA) providing jobs not only for laborers but also artists, writers, musicians, and authors, and also created the Social Security act which provided unemployment compensation and a program of old-age and survivors’ benefits. No Welfare then.
Roosevelt’s bold efforts to combat the Great Depression enhanced his reputation and in 1932, he won the nomination as the Democratic Party candidate for president. He broke with tradition and flew to Chicago to accept the nomination in person. He then campaigned energetically calling for government intervention in the economy to provide relief, recovery, and reform. His activist approach and personal charm helped defeat Herbert Hoover in November 1932 by seven million votes. I just love history and the insight it provides!
FDR passes away at Warm Springs, Georgia in1945 on April 12 and is buried in the Rose Garden of his beloved estate at Hyde Park, New York.
Please review the entire itinerary of this extraordinary Upstate New York & Hudson Valley Vacation and visit one of the most beautiful areas in New York State! Pack your walking shoes and bring your camera and experience a thoroughly captivating escorted tour.
Eadie, Interlude Blog Team
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