This week on The Historians Podcast, David Pietrusza discusses his latest book, Roosevelt Sweeps Nation: FDR’s 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal (Diversion Books, 2022). [Read more…] about FDR’s Landslide Victory in 1936
Heritage Spotlight: FDR Presidential Library and Museum, Dutchess County
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is located near FDR’s home in Hyde Park, Dutchess County, NY.
The first presidential library — and the only one used by its namesake while in office — was planned and designed by Roosevelt in the Dutch Colonial style and houses his official papers, books, and other memorabilia, as well as the papers of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. [Read more…] about Heritage Spotlight: FDR Presidential Library and Museum, Dutchess County
Wall Street History: The Great Depression & A New Deal For Working People
In 1933, during Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s first year as President, the Democrats launched a number of New Deal social welfare and economic recovery efforts to combat the Great Depression.
Among the more popular and successful of these was the creation of the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), jobs programs which were modeled on similar programs in New York State. [Read more…] about Wall Street History: The Great Depression & A New Deal For Working People
The First Great Reset: Wall St, the Great Depression & the Pecora Commission
Initially many thought the severe Wall Street crash of October 1929 was a temporary phenomenon and like many subsequent crashes (i.e. 1987, 2008) the stock market would recover in a few months or years.
Unfortunately, this did not prove to be the case. After some upward spurts, stocks on the New York Stock Exchange continued to fall for the next three years and economic conditions throughout the country continued to worsen, so that by 1932 the market closed at 41, a drop of 89% over its 1929 high of 381. Employment in Wall Street firms plummeted, as the once heady activity evaporated and the Great Depression took hold.
The response would require a great reset between Wall Street and working Americans. [Read more…] about The First Great Reset: Wall St, the Great Depression & the Pecora Commission
Wall Street History: Individual Investors & The Crash of 1929
The break-up of Standard Oil and other monopolies during the Trust-busting Era, created somewhat greater competition, but did not significantly impact Wall Street, or its major players. For example, after the success of the Justice Department in the 1911 Supreme Court Case United States v. Standard Oil (in which the Court ruled that Standard Oil of New Jersey violated the Sherman Antitrust Act), the company was ordered broken into 34 ostensibly independent companies. *
The stock in each of these companies was distributed to Standard Oil Company shareholders (principally the Rockefeller family) and each company had separate boards of directors and separate management, but by and large they continued to operate on separate floors of the same building — 26 Broadway in Manhattan. [Read more…] about Wall Street History: Individual Investors & The Crash of 1929
A Dog’s Tale: Dachshunds, Hot Dogs, Coney Island & Greenwood Cemetery
Exploding urban populations during the nineteenth century demanded new solutions towards burying the dead. Traditional congregational graveyards were either full or overcrowded. A combination of practical thinking and the wish to commune with nature (inspired by Romantic poetry) led to the development of serene burial grounds outside the city boundaries.
Founded as a “rural” or “garden” cemetery in 1838, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery is famous for its picturesque landscape features with evocative names such as Camellia Path, Halcyon Lake, Oaken Bluff, or Vista Hill. Elaborate monuments and mausoleums, designed in an array of architectural styles, honor the Lispenard dynasty (Norman), William Niblo (Gothic), the Steinway family (Classical), and others.
And then there is the Feltman mausoleum, the columns of which feature Corinthian capitals. On each side of the doorway stands a trio of mourning figures. Those on the left hold symbols of faith (cross and doves); those on the right show grief and sorrow. The pediment features two cherubs holding a wreath with the initial F in the center. On top of the temple is a cupola with the Archangel Michael standing guard, sword at the ready. The building serves to celebrate the memory of just one man. Who was this person? A Founding Father maybe? A respected politician (if that is not a contradiction in terms)? A celebrated artist? [Read more…] about A Dog’s Tale: Dachshunds, Hot Dogs, Coney Island & Greenwood Cemetery
Sol Bloom: A Manhattan Leader In American WWII Foreign Policy
Sol Bloom (March 9, 1870 – March 7, 1949) was a song-writer and Congressman from New York who began his career as a sheet music publisher in Chicago. He served fourteen terms in the House of Representatives from the West Side of Manhattan, from 1923 until his death in 1949.
Bloom was the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 1939 to 1947 and again in 1949, an important period in the history of American foreign policy. [Read more…] about Sol Bloom: A Manhattan Leader In American WWII Foreign Policy
Algonac: The Delano’s Hudson River Estate
On the west side of the Hudson River near Newburgh, NY, across the river from the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park, was the Delano estate known as Algonac.
The Delano family hailed from Massachusetts and traced their origins to the Pilgrims and the Mayflower (they once spelled their name Del de Lannoy). The family was tied to the sea and eventually settled in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. [Read more…] about Algonac: The Delano’s Hudson River Estate
Tammany’s Last Stand: The McManus Club & The McGovern Campaign
James R. McManus was born in Hell’s Kitchen in 1936 and recently died in 2019. For 54 years (from 1962 to 2016) he was the Democratic Party District Leader from the Hell’s Kitchen area. This was a position that his father Eugene E. McManus had held for 20 years before him.
Previously Eugene McManus’s great grand uncle, Thomas J. McManus, had held the position, since the formation of the McManus Democratic Club in 1892, when he defeated the prior District Leader George Washington Plunkitt, author of Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (1905). [Read more…] about Tammany’s Last Stand: The McManus Club & The McGovern Campaign
How New York’s Suburbs Got So Segregated
Why is the population of Massapequa in New York’s Nassau County 98% percent white? Why do almost no Black families live in suburban Levittown, New York? Are we looking at free choices by families or underlying housing patterns that reflect the impact of past and current racist practices?
Newsday exposed racial channeling by Long Island realtors in an investigation that showed how they steered potential home buyers to particular towns based on their race and ethnicity. [Read more…] about How New York’s Suburbs Got So Segregated