FDR at Night

I went to the FDR memorial awhile back for a night-time, guided tour.  The “tour” ended up being me–alone–with a Park Ranger and a boombox.  He played one of Roosie’s fireside chats and said, “Well, I guess that’s about it.  Enjoy the park.”

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Actually, we had a little bit more of a chat after the boom-box chat.  I was pretty surprised, actually, at what he said.

Me: [And again, keep in mind that this guy and I are sitting in front of a boombox, in front of an FDR statue–alone–at 10 p.m. in the dark.] So, how did FDR’s policies help during the Great Depression?

Ranger Mike: Well, the main thing they did was keep people optimistic.

Me: And they turned the economy around, right?

Ranger Mike: No, they were a failure.

Me: [Dumbfounded silence.]

RM: They failed to reach their goals.  They didn’t help the U.S. get out of the depression.

Me: I couldn’t agree with you more.

I then proceeded to take pics of Tommy J, the Washington and WWI Memorials, and planes making their final descents into Reagan National.

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3 Responses to FDR at Night

  1. Aaron says:

    Before I moved here, I kind of assumed the park folks would be some of the most gung-ho propaganda-spoutinist federales around, but the four I’ve met have each been impressive and usually very humble students of history, who care deeply about American ideas and ideals in a way I never expected.

  2. Phil Raintree says:

    I share you sentiments, Aaron. But don’t you find it disturbing how easily bears are able to steal picnic baskets from park guests while the park rangers fumble around trying to catch the bears?

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