V Is For Victory: Franklin Roosevelt’s American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II (Scribner, 2023) by Craig Nelson reveals how FDR confronted an American public disinterested in going to war in Europe, skillfully won their support, and pushed government and American industry to build the greatest war machine in history, “the arsenal of democracy” that won the Second World War. [Read more…] about FDR’s Revolution & Triumph in World War II
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Redeeming Al Smith: New York’s Four-Time Governor
Al Smith was many things during his political career: reform champion after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, four-time governor of New York State, the first Catholic presidential candidate. But he was always a New York City boy at heart. [Read more…] about Redeeming Al Smith: New York’s Four-Time Governor
The Rockland County Work Camp That Inspired The Civilian Conservation Corps
Ninety years ago this month, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the bill that created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC established labor camps around the nation where unemployed men did forestry work and park improvements.
Much of their hard work is evident in state and national parks, which are still enjoyed by the public. At the time of its creation, the CCC was described as a “novel work-relief plan.” But it was not entirely novel. A similar program was being run in Rockland County, New York. [Read more…] about The Rockland County Work Camp That Inspired The Civilian Conservation Corps
FDR’s Landslide Victory in 1936
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
The Creation of the Saratoga Battlefield Park: A Short History
Saturday, October 8th, 1927, was a great day for a burglar in Ballston Spa, NY. The Saratogian newspaper announced that “Ballston Spa closed down shop this noon and went to the Saratoga Battlefield celebration. Scores of Ballstonians, many of them taking part in the pageant, went to the historic battlefield this morning, but the great exodus did not take place until early this afternoon. Stores, mills, offices and shops closed at noon and throughout the forenoon there was a hustle and bustle of people getting ready to go to the celebration.” [Read more…] about The Creation of the Saratoga Battlefield Park: A Short History
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
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