Did you know that FDR named his beloved Scottish terrier after a distant Scottish ancestor? Upon receiving the pet as a gift in 1940, Roosevelt changed the dog’s name from “Big Boy” to “Murray the Outlaw of Falahill” — “Fala” for short — in homage to the famous John Murray of Falahill.
Fala became Roosevelt’s constant companion and the most famous dog in America.
With both the Scottish Independence Referendum and The Roosevelts documentary in the news this week, here’s a little piece of Rooseveltian-Scottish trivia, courtesy of our colleagues at the fdrlibrary.
What are you following this week, The Roosevelts, or the referendum?
As we continue to explore the Roosevelts through National Archives records this week in conjunction with Ken Burns's The Roosevelts documentary series on pbstv, today we turn our attention to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.
Eleanor Roosevelt was an active and focused First Lady, transforming the role during her 12 years in the White House. She pushed for a number of domestic and social reforms, and remained professionally active in journalism, penning a monthly column for Woman’s Home Companion magazine and Ladies Home Journal as well as a syndicated daily newspaper column called “My Day.”
On March 6, 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt held the first of her 348 women’s-only press conferences. These press conferences were attended by the major female reporters of the day - including Lorena Hickok, Ruby Black, Bess Furman, May Craig, Emma Bugbee and Martha Stayer.
Eleanor used these press conferences as a way to not only announce her schedule of activities but also as a platform to publicize the work of women leaders, answer her critics, and entertain questions on a variety of subjects. Topics covered everything from domestic issues like social programs, race, youth activism, etc. to international politics and the role of women in war and peace.
Image of “Eleanor Roosevelt’s First Press Conference" and information via fdrlibrary.
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt stepped up to the microphones to give his first inaugural address as the President of the United States, the country was in the doldrums of the Great Depression: 40 million Americans were unemployed, the banks were closed in 40 of the 48 states, and Roosevelt himself had survived an assassination attempt just 17 days before.
Despite the dire circumstances, FDR’s first inaugural address is most known for his statement that “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” In that spirit, he went on to demand “action, and action now” to fight the Great Depression. That action would take the form of the New Deal, which would touch virtually every aspect of American economic life.
Check out the next episode of “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” tonight on pbstv to learn more about FDR’s early presidency. We are shining the spotlight on some of usnatarchives and its fdrlibrary's records this week in conjunction with this new documentary series from our Board Vice President Ken Burns.
Image from the FDR Library.
Welcome to Roosevelt Week! In conjunction with our Board Vice President Ken Burns’s new documentary series "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," this week we will be featuring related records from the holdings of the usnatarchives and the fdrlibrary.
Theodore Roosevelt and the regiment under his command, the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, known as the “Rough Riders,” became heroes after their victory at the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. Shortly after the war ended, Roosevelt was elected as Governor of New York, thanks in large part to his wartime exploits, beginning his long and storied career in high-profile politics.
Discover more about Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt in “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” premiering tonight on pbstv at 8pm EST.
200 years ago today, British forces began bombarding Fort McHenry in Baltimore’s harbor. The attack continued throughout the say and night. All the lights were extinguished in Baltimore, so the only light was given off by the exploding shells over Fort McHenry, illuminating the flag that was still flying over the fort.
Witnessing the attack from a British ship was American lawyer Francis Scott Key, who was being held captive. Inspired by the sight, Key wrote a poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” His poem would later be set to music and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
A letter from Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith to James Monroe about the bombardment of Fort McHenry and a list of those killed and wounded in the battle are currently on display at the National Archives Museum’s “Featured Documents” exhibit.
Happy 101st birthday, Jesse Owens! Born today in 1913, Owens would become one of America’s most prominent athletes.
Owens first came onto the national radar at the 1935 Big Ten Track Meet where he broke three world records (the long jump, 220 yard dash, and the 220 low hurdles) and tied another (the 100 yard dash), in under an hour - a feat now referred to as “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport.”
After his astounding collegiate performance, Owens went on to represent the United States in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany, where he won 4 gold medals (the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, the long jump, and the 4X100 meter relay). He was the most decorated athlete at the Berlin games, shattering Adolf Hitler’s myth of Aryan superiority.
Image: "Photograph of Olympian Jesse Owens," undated