I was having a conversation earlier this month with a friend of mine who would like to do some research at the FDR Library later this year or sometime in 2022. It had been our intention to go last year but the shutdown put that on hold. I was on the library’s website a few days ago hoping for news that, if not the library, then perhaps the visitor center, museum, house, Top Cottage, and/or Val-Kill might be re-opening sometime soon. Alas that is not the case. The site has actually done a good job with virtual public events these past sixteen months. Even after the world fully reopens virtual events and conferences here and elsewhere will be here to stay, in addition of course to in-person programming.

Today is a special day in the history of Hyde Park: Roosevelt himself dedicated his library and museum on June 30, 1941, eighty years ago today. He had been sworn in for his third term a tad less than four months previously. Pearl Harbor was six months away. My favorite place in the library is his office, which has a separate door to a hallway adjacent to an entranceway. Museum visitors often came and had no idea that ten feet away on the other side of the door, if he was up from Washington, the president was working. Or maybe he playing with his stamp collection. Here is to the places we love opening up again sometime soon.

(image/Gottscho-Schleisner Collection, Library of Congress)