The memorial FDR really wanted

Name the five greatest U.S. presidents and Franklin Delano Roosevelt should make the list. Ironically, he received the least striking memorial until a second was built in 1997.

But that’s the way Roosevelt wanted it.

Shortly before his 1945 death while barely into his fourth term, Roosevelt told Justice Felix Frankfurter to erect a basic white monument the size of his desk. It wasn’t erected until 1965, but still sits by the National Archives along Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. The white marble cost $12,000 and paid for by admirers.

Ironically a commission began planning the larger memorial in 1955, 10 years before this memorial opened.

About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
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