Lynn Bassanese began working at FDR Presidential Library and Museum as part-time archives aides in 1972 while a student at nearby Marist College. She is now the director of the library and museum and has largely overseen this $35 million, nine-year restoration and redesign project that we are celebrating this morning.
She was also front and center at yesterday’s rededication here at America’s first Presidential Library and the only one used by a sitting President.
We are very happy to continue our new regular feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter. This morning we spotlight the Civil War sesquicentennial.
Of the half-dozen full-length histories of the battle of Gettysburg written over the last century, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion is the first to dive down so closely to the experience of the individual soldier, or looks so closely at the sway of politics over military decisions, or places the battle so firmly in the context of nineteenth-century military practice.
In The Civil War in 50 Objects, Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer sheds new light on the war by examining fifty objects from the New-York Historical Society’s acclaimed collection. A daguerreotype of an elderly, dignified ex-slave, whose unblinking stare still mesmerizes; a soldier’s footlocker still packed with its contents; Grant’s handwritten terms of surrender at Appomattox—the stories these objects tell are rich, poignant, sometimes painful, and always fascinating. They illuminate the conflict from all perspectives—Union and Confederate, military and civilian, black and white, male and female—and give readers a deeply human sense of the war.
Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord.
These exhibits will tell the story of the Roosevelt presidency beginning in the depths of the Great Depression and continuing through the New Deal years and World War II with an emphasis on both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationship with the American people. Special inter-actives, immersive audio‐visual theaters, and rarely seen artifacts will convey the dramatic story of the Roosevelt era as the Roosevelt Library brings a New Deal to a New Generation.
To talk specifically about the upcoming audiovisual presentations, we welcome Herman Eberhardt, Supervisory Museum Curator for the Roosevelt Library and Steve Bressler, President of Monadnock Media.