Welcome Remarks for 75th anniversary of the opening of the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Site
Hello, I’m David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States. It is an honor to be a part of this 75th anniversary marking the start of an important and historic partnership between the National Park Service and the National Archives. I will follow the advice of FDR––I’m going to be brief, I’m going to be sincere, and I’m going to be seated.
On that early spring day in April 1946, President Harry Truman was joined by many dignitaries, including the Second Archivist of the United States Solon J. Buck and Secretary of the Interior Julius Albert Krug. The President noted that “We are here not only to do honor to the immortal spirit of Franklin Roosevelt. We are here to gain strength for what is ahead… Here where he was born, in the spot which he loved the best in all the world, he is now at rest. We shall not soon see his like again.”
Right before the President spoke those words he had visited the Presidential Library just a few hundred feet away. There he met with Mrs. Roosevelt and my predecessor Solon Buck in FDR’s private study. From there they went into the Rose Garden to lay a wreath on the gravesite of Franklin Roosevelt.
During the formal ceremony opening the home to the public, Secretary of the Interior Krug predicted that “The people he loved will come here. Young people, poor people, aliens and neighbors, men who are freer men because he lived. Statesmen from many lands will come… May his memory deliver all of them from selfishness and greed. May he forever share with all who come something of his timeless qualities; his contagious vitality, his gallant courage, and his infinite compassion.”
Looking back 75 years we now know that prediction has come true. Millions of people from around the world have come to visit the home and the library to experience the Roosevelt’s legacy firsthand. They have been welcomed, informed, and inspired. And our two agencies, whose missions are to preserve our most precious history, will continue to work together to fulfill FDR’s vision of a sanctuary where people can come to study the past to better prepare for the future.