75th Anniversary

Seeking Local Reactions to April 1945 death of FDR

To prepare for the upcoming talk recognizing the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, the Dutchess County Historical Society (DCHS) is seeking personal recollections, diary entries, letters or photos from April 1945 to help tell the story.  Any family photographs related to these events such as crowds waiting for the funeral train, the train itself, local services, etc. are also of great interest. These items, which would understandably have great personal value, could be loaned to be photographed or copied, if the owner wishes to retain the original.

Michael Dolan, a DCHS Vice President, will be giving the talk,  “Death of a Neighbor: Local Reaction to FDR’s Passing” as a part of DCHS’s Annual Meeting, Thursday, April 16. Open to all and free of charge, doors open at 5:30 pm. The DCHS meeting starts at 6:00. The talk is given at 7:00. Henry A. Wallace Center Visitor & Educational Center, FDR Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park. You are welcome to attend either, or both, as your schedule permits.

In mid-April, 1945, Dutchess County residents and the rest of the world were anticipating the imminent end of World War II in Europe. What they got instead was the shocking news that FDR had died suddenly in Warm Springs, Georgia. Dolan explores what the loss of the county’s most famous resident meant to America in general, and how the loss played out in Dutchess County in particular. From the first news bulletins to the funeral train’s slow trek up the Hudson, the burial in Hyde Park, Dolan uses archival photographs, newspapers, and clips from radio broadcasts to convey, in the most direct way, the emotions felt at the time.

Please contact:  Bill Jeffway at bill.jeffway@dchsny.org or cellphone 845-293-7711.

FDR Death Headline