September 10, 2020

In this issue: FDR's Pastimes, Hidden Treasure About Seafaring Heroes, Historian Richard Breitman on the WWII Heroics of Raymond Geist, a Gift from de Gaulle, and the Trains that Moved our WWII Troops.

Few Presidents have had to face the daunting double whammy of a Great Depression and a World War. How did Franklin Roosevelt, while leading the world through crisis, draw peace and perspective on leadership from his personal interests in sailing, planting trees, collecting books, manuscripts, and stamps?

FDR was a world-class collector famous for his stamps, ship models, naval art and books, but hidden in the deepest alcoves at the FDR Library is a remarkable, little known, and priceless collection of rare documents on U.S. maritime history and the adventures of its greatest heroes.

From October 2019:
Historian Richard Breitman examines the war-time heroics of Raymond Geist, an American consul in Berlin who helped get both Einstein and Freud out of Nazi-controlled territory. (Video, 50:45) Broadcast by CSPAN.

Richard Breitman author of The Berlin Mission

M is for Model. Free French leader General Charles DeGaulle gave FDR this working model of a submarine during a visit to Washington D.C. in July 1944. Based loosely on a French submarine called the SURCOUF, the model can submerge, fire its guns, and launch its torpedoes.

This short film created by the US War Department in 1943 shows the transfer of one armored division – troops, tanks, jeeps, guns – by rail from one unidentified location to another. (Video 10:52 minutes)


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By including the FDR Library in your charitable estate plans, you will become a member of our FDR Library Legacy Circle, which recognizes individuals with the unique vision and generosity to name the FDR Library in their philanthropic planning. Did you know that the Library's nonprofit partner, Roosevelt Institute, offers a free tool for you to make a will online? Create one at

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"Whatever our individual circumstances or opportunities, we are all in it, and our spirit is good... and do not let anyone tell you anything different." FDR, Oct 12, 1942, fireside chat.

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