The Bowery Boys: New York City History

#387 Hyde Park: The Roosevelts on the Hudson

Episode Summary

Tom and Greg visit Hyde Park, New York, and Springwood, the estate of Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt. Learn about FDR's life in Hyde Park, tour his home, visit the couple's private cottages and go inside the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

Episode Notes

Hyde Park, New York, was the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. He was born here, he lived here throughout his life, and he's buried here -- alongside his wife Eleanor Roosevelt. But it was more than just a home.

The Hyde Park presence of the Roosevelts expands outwardly from the Roosevelt ancestral mansion of Springwood, over hundreds of forested acres from former farmlands on the eastern side to the shores of the Hudson River on the west.

FDR was born here in 1882, returning through his life and throughout his storied career -- as a state senator, as a governor of New York, as a four-term president. When diagnosed with polio in 1921, Franklin rehabilitated here along the dirt roads emanating from Springwood.

FDR said of Springwood, “My heart has always been here. It always will be.”

Eleanor raised their family here, alongside FDR's protective mother Sara Delano. She would carve out her own legacy in Hyde Park at a place called Val-Kill Cottage where her political independence and social activism would flourish.

In this episode, Tom and Greg visit both Springwood and Val-Kill, along with two other historic places:

-- Top Cottage where the King and Queen of England met FDR at the dawning of the World War II (and the King enjoyed a certain staple of American cuisine)

-- And the FDR Library and Museum, America's first presidential library, where the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor lives on.

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