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1935 Footage of FDR Made Head of His Library 'Gasp'

White House visitor Fred Hill recorded president walking in 1935

(Newser) - For seven seconds, the footage shows an American president walking to a White House railing to wave at a crowd. But "when I saw [it] ... I gasped," says Paul Sparrow, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, which has acquired the silent film of the... More »

FDR's Trees Helped Ease Dust Bowl. Now, a New Worry

Farmers are taking them down to increase acreage, a move that could backfire

(Newser) - They're known as FDR's "great wall of trees," explains a feature at the Weather Channel . Back in the 1930s, the US Forest Service planted more than 220 million trees across the Great Plains to mitigate the effects of "one of the largest man-made ecological disasters... More »

Why Liberal Icon Eleanor Roosevelt Packed Heat

The First Lady had a permit for a .22 pistol

(Newser) - Eleanor Roosevelt took her politics and self-preservation seriously—and the two concerns seemed to coincide. The famous politician, activist, and liberal icon had a permit for a .22 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports. The permit went on display in June at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential... More »

FDR's Secret Caught on Video

Professor says he has found footage of president being pushed in wheelchair

(Newser) - A secret that was hidden from the public until after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's death was actually captured on video during his lifetime, says a professor at an Indiana college. Ray Begovich, a journalism professor at Franklin College south of Indianapolis, said yesterday that he found an 8-second clip... More »

Bill Murray Soars as FDR

But 'Hyde Park' itself isn't so hot, say critics

(Newser) - Bill Murray is getting generally strong reviews for his portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson, although the movie itself—which centers on FDR's relationship with his cousin and eventual mistress—is disappointing critics. The Week checks out some reviews and sums it up: "Murray... More »

Bill Murray to Play FDR

Actor set to star in Hyde Park On the Hudson

(Newser) - Bill Murray—presumably in serious mode—has been tapped to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sources tell New York . Murray is set to take on the role in Morning Glory director Roger Mitchell's adaptation of British radio play Hyde Park On the Hudson. The movie, set during the weekend in 1939... More »

Righty Bloggers Pick 25 Worst Americans

Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and FDR take top spots

(Newser) - Ask 43 conservative bloggers to name the worst Americans of all time, as Right Wing News did, and the results aren't kind to Jimmy Carter. The top 5:
  1. Jimmy Carter
  2. Barack Obama
  3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  4. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
  5. (tie) Woodrow Wilson, Benedict Arnold
More »

Grow Up, America: He's Not Superman

And neither was any other president

(Newser) - Why do we expect President Obama to plug the Gulf oil leak, squelch the Taliban, reconcile the Israelis and Palestinians, and forge a global treaty on greenhouse gases? Because "Americans like to read politics and history as a tale of the Great Man," Paul Starobin writes in the... More »

Cancer May Have Killed FDR

Possible deception in 1944 election raises lots of what-if questions

(Newser) - Speculating about Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s real cause of death has been a popular sport for years, and now two authors have a provocative theory: brain cancer. The shifting opinions are well documented: FDR’s own doctor, who at first likened the deadly brain hemorrhage to a “bolt of... More »

Obama's Health Reform Waffling May Be Savvy

Prez perhaps following his predecessors in 'strategic uncertainty'

(Newser) - It may not be timidity that’s keeping Barack Obama from pushing harder for a public health care option. He may instead be employing a time-tested presidential technique: “strategic uncertainty,” writes Jill Lawrence in Politics Daily. Key for Obama is getting strong Senate support for a bill, and... More »

Obama, Be Like FDR and Talk to Us

(Newser) - President Obama should man up and talk straight to the American people about health care reform—just like FDR did when trying to pass Social Security, Nancy J. Altman writes in the Los Angeles Times. Roosevelt succeeded with that program against similar odds—opponents cried “socialism” and said it... More »

Krugman, Noonan Agree: Just Build on Medicare

We already have a fine government option

(Newser) - Everyone's suddenly allergic to letting the government into health care, but Paul Krugman has news: The government is already knee-deep in health care, he writes in the New York Times. It's called Medicare, and without it almost no one over 65 would be covered. You can also thank tax subsidies... More »

Conservatives Must 'Obstruct and Delay' Obama: Kristol

GOP can check rush toward big government

(Newser) - The “day of reckoning” has come for Republicans, writes William Kristol in the Washington Post. On Tuesday, President Obama delivered “the most unabashedly liberal and big-government speech” since Lyndon Johnson, and seems poised to undo the whole Reagan agenda. “Conservatives can’t win politically right now,”... More »

Obama Finds His Inner Roosevelt

President stakes his legacy on ending economic crisis

(Newser) - Barack Obama's address to Congress last night “staked his presidency on bringing the nation out of its economic crisis,” writes Steven Pearlstein in the Washington Post. Not since FDR have citizens been so desperate for economic leadership, and yesterday's speech made clear that Obama plans to reshape American... More »

Arts Need a New Deal, Too

Cultural anthropologist suggests President Obama appoint arts cabinet

(Newser) - Fifty years after FDR’s Public Works Art Project paid and promoted American talent, President Obama has people dreaming of a new deal for arts, cultural anthropologist Patricia Williams Lessane writes in Ebony. While division spawned the Harlem Renaissance, Lessane is hopeful an arts resurgence would be “born out... More »

FDR 'Prolonged' the Depression? Come On

(Newser) - Fox News left one pundit scrambling for his history books last week after he dared to defend the New Deal. Supporting Congressional talk of a stimulus plan, David Sirota sat "mouth agape, deer in the headlights" as a commentator accused FDR's plan of prolonging the Great Depression. Sirota disagreed,... More »

Can Obama Be the New FDR?

Nation needs Roosevelt's action, inspiration

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s call yesterday to “act swiftly” to address the economic crisis clearly echoed Franklin Roosevelt’s inaugural address during the Depression: “action, and action now.” But while Obama's “crisp competence” was welcome, he wasn't particularly inspirational, and, Joe Nocera writes in the New York ... More »

Governing Will Make Campaign Look Easy

Prioritizing amid economic downturn will present enormous challenge

(Newser) - The challenges ahead for Barack Obama are perhaps the largest facing any new president since FDR, Dan Balz writes in the Washington Post. He'll have sizable congressional majorities, but with a redrawn electoral map—including a number of formerly GOP states in his column—he'll have to wrestle immediately with... More »

Mortgage Crisis? Blame George Bailey

It's A Wonderful Life hero helped poor buy unaffordable homes

(Newser) - The housing bubble that triggered the current economic crisis began with a post-Depression attitude toward owning a home presented in the classic Christmas flick It’s a Wonderful Life, writes Ross Douthat in the Washington Post. Hero banker George Bailey’s chief goal was to loan the poor enough money... More »

Smoking Makes Obama Human ... If a Bad Role Model

Some worried a victory by Dem could set anti-tobacco movement back years

(Newser) - If Barack Obama—an on-again, off-again smoker who says he's off again—fails in his attempt to quit, he could be the first president to enjoy a regular puff since FDR, who lit up long before the anti-smoking movement swept America. One watcher tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune the habit... More »

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