Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, East 20th Street

I spent the day yesterday pounding out a small project that will hopefully see the light of day sometime this month. I don’t want to say too much about it right now, but I will say here that it is about the Roosevelt Birthplace on East 20th Street. It came out to about 900 words. Again, it is a low stakes projects. Little things like this though can be a lot of fun. There are so many good stories to tell. I will keep everyone up to date.

Once I finish the book manuscript, I intend to do something about the development of Roosevelt House as a cultural institution. The story is a more interesting one than people realize. Roosevelt died in January 1919 when the troops were coming home from Europe. The world was seemingly at peace but actually in turmoil. Much of the world was gathering in Paris for the peace negotiations. That summer was the Red Scare and the race riots here in America, and chaos and starvation abroad. The Russian Revolution was going on, and soon that country would be in civil war. Theodore Roosevelt was gone by the time all this happened, but that was the milieu in which the Roosevelt Memorial and Woman’s Roosevelt Memorial Associations went about the work of rebuilding the house in the early 1920s. The founders of the site saw it as a center for promoting patriotism and for fending off the world’s ills in what was an uncertain time. It is very much an untold story and I think there is a lot to go on here.