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New Special Exhibit

DAY OF INFAMY: 24 Hours That Changed History

On June 30, 2016, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum will open a new major special exhibition entitled "DAY OF INFAMY: 24 HOURS THAT CHANGED HISTORY" in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The exhibit will be on display in the Library's William J. vanden Heuvel Gallery through December 31, 2016. On June 30, 2016, the Library -- including the special exhibition -- will be open from Noon and 6:00 p.m., with free admission.Exhibit banner for "Day of Infamy"

During 2016 Americans will commemorate the 75th anniversary of one of the most pivotal events in modern history -- the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Japan's surprise attack shocked the nation and instantly plunged the United States into World War II. It proved to be a decisive turning point in American and global history.

To mark this historic anniversary, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is presenting a major special exhibition that gives visitors a behind-the-scenes view of FDR and his inner circle of advisers during the pivotal 24 hours that followed the Japanese assault. Those 24 hours were among the most dramatic and consequential of the Franklin Roosevelt's long presidency. They ended with one of his finest moments.

The "DAY OF INFAMY" exhibition begins at 1:47 pm (EST) on December 7, when President Roosevelt was informed of the attack. It concludes in the early afternoon ofDecember 8, when he delivered his famous "Day of Infamy" address to a joint session of Congress and signed the declaration of war with Japan. Visitors move through this 24-hour period with Roosevelt, experiencing its drama and confusion as it unfolds, hour by hour.

The exhibit's highlight is one of the most fabled and treasured items in the Roosevelt Library's vast collections -- FDR's hand-amended first draft of his "Day of Infamy" speech. This historic document is rarely placed on public display and will likely not be on view again for a decade. It is among a series of key documents featured in the exhibit that were seen, dictated, or written by the President and important military and civilian advisers during this 24-hour period. They include Army and Navy updates, diary entries by Cabinet members, security memos, drafts of press releases, and personal letters.

"DAY OF INFAMY" also features dramatic audiovisual programs, including film of the Pearl Harbor attack, a series of interactive touchscreens that provide visitors with updates on the evolving military situation in the Pacific, and audio stations where visitors can access first person testimony (found in oral histories, diary entries and memoirs) from key individuals who were with FDR on December 7.

Visitors will also be able to view a new digitally re-mastered, high definition film of FDR's entire 6 ½ minute "Day of Infamy" speech to Congress. This enhanced version of that famous speech will have its debut in this exhibition. It was specially prepared by the National Archives and Records Administration's Audio and Video Preservation Lab in a project supported by a generous grant from AT&T.

"DAY OF INFAMY" concludes with a section entitled "Remembering Pearl Harbor, 1941-2016" that recalls the pivotal nature of the events of December 7 and highlights their continuing importance and relevance to the United States in the post-9/11 world. It includes a multi-screen video program, narrated by CBS news anchor Scott Pelley, that explores how the memory of Pearl Harbor continues to exert a profound influence on our defense, intelligence, and foreign policies.

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Permanent Exhibit at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

The Roosevelt Library’s new permanent museum exhibits were recently installed with $6 million in private funds raised by the Roosevelt Institute, the Library’s private, non-profit partner.

The new exhibits tell the story of the Roosevelt presidency beginning in the depths of the Great Depression and continuing through the New Deal and World War II with an emphasis on both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationship with the American people.

Special interactives, immersive audio‐visual theaters, and rarely seen artifacts convey the dramatic story of the Roosevelt era as the Roosevelt Library brings a “New Deal to a New Generation.”

The new museum contains many interactive exhibits including touch screen experiences at the Oval Office Desk and FDR's Ford Phaeton. "Confront the Issues" are ten interactive touch screens strategically located throughout the exhibition that offer visitors the opportunity to explore digital "flipbooks"that contain documents, photographs, and excerpts from historians -- with multiple viewpoints -- related to controversial issues during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency. Topics include "Japanese American Internment," FDR and the Holocaust," "FDR's Health," and "Did the New Deal Really Work?"

The new galleries feature two immersive Fireside Chat Environments. Each of these environments will have a radio and period furnishings, inviting visitors to sit and listen. After the Chat audio concludes, visitors can hear readings of actual letters -- representing a variety of opinions -- giving the visitor a chance to hear how Americans felt about the president’s leadership during the Depression and World War II. The 500 square foot Map Room exhibit recreates FDR’s secret White House Map Room. The walls within the room also feature projections of maps and timelines of key battles and decisions, as well as animations. Visitors can follow along with the maps just as FDR did, and understand the importance and context of his strategies.

At the center of the Map Room are six interactive tables featuring animation and videos, spotlights on key countries and meetings that took place during the war, and trivia quiz opportunities. It also displays memos, calendars, and multiple maps used by FDR and his military advisers.

“Behind the Scenes” provides visitors with an extraordinary opportunity to see large numbers of museum objects that don’t appear in the permanent exhibition. This special area of the new museum features storerooms with large glass viewing areas making it possible for visitors to get a special peek into the collections of the President and First Lady. Here, visitors can see FDR’s model ship collection, his 1936 Ford Phaeton (with hand-controls), Val-Kill furniture, family paintings and portraits, New Deal art and gifts of state.  

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Online Exhibit: Art of the New Deal

Art of the New Deal features a selection of New Deal art from the collections of the FDR Library. Click the link above or the image to the left to enter the online exhibit. 

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Traveling and Joint Exhibitions

The museum maintains an active program of traveling exhibitions. We also present joint exhibitions with other museums and libraries. Contact Supervisory Museum Curator Herman Eberhardt if you are interested in bringing one of our traveling exhibits to your institution.

Now Available:

This Great Nation Will Endure: Photographs of the Great Depression
Stauth Memorial Museum
Montezuma, Kansas
March 9-June 8, 2014

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