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COMMEMORATION OF THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE BIRTH OF FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1979
Washington, D.O. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 301 Russell Senate Office Building, Hon. Claiborne Pell (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Pell, Williams, Ford, DeConcini, Hatfield, and Schweiker.
Staff present: William H. Cochrane, staff director; Gerald W. Siegel, chief counsel; Thomas K. Decker, minority staff director; Paul Goulding, professional staff member; Raymond N. Nelson, professional staff member; John K. Swearingen, director, technical services; John L. Sousa, counsel, elections; Jack L. Sapp, professional staff member; Donald L. Massey, minority counsel; Elaine W. Milliken, minority counsel, elections; Christopher Tow, assistant counsel, elections; Peggy L. Parrish, chief clerk; and Robert Heckman, assistant chief clerk, auditor.
The CHAIRMAN. The Committee on Rules and Administration will come to order.
We have a remarkably full agenda today, but as a courtesy and a mark of our respect for Senator Randolph, we have given priority to this hearing on the bill in which I know he is so interested. It is one also that I must say that interests me as a young man who grew up very much under President Roosevelt's influence, and one whose father was a college and old friend through the years, and neighbors in Dutchess County of President Roosevelt.
I think the thing to bear in mind is that there must be a memorial to President Roosevelt, over and above that little marker on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the National Archives. What that memorial is to be is yet to be determined.
The proposals determinations of the Roosevelt Memorial Commission so far have been unacceptable or too expensive, compared to memorials to Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington. But I think this problem can be brought into line, and there should be some substantial memorial to President Roosevelt.
As we move ahead on the resolution before us we should bear in mind that it should not mitigate our desire to eventually see a major memorial to President Roosevelt, and that thought should be borne in
At this point I welcome Senator Randolph, very much indeed. We are delighted to have him here with us.
STATEMENT OF HON. JENNINGS RANDOLPH, A U.S. SENATOR FROM
THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA, AND SPONSOR OF SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 116
Senator RANDOLPH. Thank you very much, Chairman Pell.
I agree with your opening statement. The form and substance of the memorial, that is a matter for careful consideration, and to know that, you have not only the personal interests and concern to bring that memorial properly into place, but beyond that you have evidenced the feeling that we cannot continue to delay the consideration at the committee level of this subject matter, and I am grateful for the opportunity to present some thoughts in support of resolutionSenate Joint Resolution 116—that would provide for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
. uae Now, there are pressures, that we understand, and we know that at seta 10:30 today there is one of the most crucial votes in connection with me the windfall profit tax that will be made during the consideration of 12 that far-ranging legislation. So I presume it is the part of judgment on for me to try to include materials rather than to make too lengthy a statement.
The CHAIRMAN. Correct, I think there will be a vote at 11 o'clock, as also.
Senator RANDOLPH. Well, a vote at 10:30, for certain. The vote at bashi 11 o'clock is not actually determined. It may be determined by the vote at 10:30 somewhat.
But I know that there are members of this committee, including the yourself, who have been giving very concerted attention to the memorial for FDR.
Now, you will have my help in this matter, although I appear for a star certain resolution that I have introduced, I am conscious that in any tip legislation we have the opportunity to cooperate, and so as we consider this proposal—in a sense, a modest celebration for the 100th anniversary of the birth of FDR, born on January 30, 1892—we are all going to try to work our way, thinking in terms of various approaches, but with the one overriding reason that we feel the Ameri- she can people want this. I believe they do. They would not be conscious odio of the modus operandi by which it is brought into being, but they the will be a happy people if it is done, and done rightly.
So I appear today in a dual capacity, as a Member of the Con- What gress, serving today as one who served, also having come to Wash disamente ington and taken the oath of office in the House the same day that the pat co President took his oath of office in the beginning of his several terms.
Second, I am a West Virginian, and I am somewhat provincial, but I do not think I allow that provincial position to stand in the way of doing something worthwhile, and when I can couple the two together, why it is a delight for me.
So, another West Virginian, Pare Lorentz, has had the experience of working with FDR, the members of the Roosevelt family, in those early days. That will come out in the hearing.
Now, the resolution that I have presented provides for the establishment of a special joint committee of the Congress, and it would have lo two functions. First, to make arrangements for a joint session of the Congress, that would be held on January 30, 1982, and second, to ac
PN quire and publish, “The Days of Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Chronicle," Em by Pare Lorentz, and such other manuscripts, and photographs, and illustrations as the joint committee would deem appropriate.
These two functions are essentially the same as were followed in the Sesquicentennial Commission in connection with President Abraham Lincoln, and that was in 1959. First, there was a joint session at the
time of Lincoln, as I have indicated, a joint session here. Carl Sandto be burg, many of us will remember, of course, I remember it indelibly, it
is etched in my mind and heart, the address of Carl Sandburg in that amera
. He was a great Lincoln scholar, and then we had that chronology, eful : "Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology, 1809 to 1865,” which was pro
duced in three volumes. lutics
It was last year that Pare Lorentz came and talked with me about nema
this 100th anniversary. I would ask consent, Mr. Chairman, to have placed in the record a Pare Lorentz chronology and certain materials, I will not not list them, but my statement here will include the listings. The CHAIRMAN. Without objection. Senator RANDOLPH. I learned something at that time, I know, in a
about Mr. Lorentz's work with the President, but he actually had given 10 years, and that was 1947 until 1957 working on this chronicle, and he was in communication, of course, during that period, with Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and it was a monumental task to which he gave himself, for the period of 10 years of work, which
was, I know, appreciated by many of us who know about him. Now, members of my staff have been working with Mr. Lorentz, to see if there was some practical way, realistic way, and in fact, a very proper way to have those unpublished works about FDR, a part of the—what we know will be an anniversary, certainly now in your thoughts, and I am certain in the thoughts of many of the members.
So it is planned that on January 30, 1982, that that be done. I suggested to Mr. Lorentz that he might discuss this matter with some Senators. He talked with Senator Hatfield, for example, who is not only a member of this committee, but also serves on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Commission.
Senator Hatfield discussed the possibility of including the chronicles of Mr. Lorentz as a part of the Commission's work, with members of that Commission, but the general feeling there was that it
should be handled apart from the memorial itself. ( It was at this point that the president of the Lincoln Sesquicenten
nial came to mind, to me, with the discovery that Congress had used the joint congressional committee several times in the past for memorial purposes. In 1880 the Congress established a joint committee on the Yorktown Centennial Celebration. In 1882, the Congress established a joint committee for the erection of a memorial column at Washington's headquarters at Newburgh, N.Y. Also in 1882, the Congress established a joint committee to authorize the statue to John Marshall
, whose statue is now in front of the Capitol Building. So, Senator Pell, and through you, the members of this committee I would say, to use a popular, perhaps even a correct cliche, “what is the bottom line?" You are asking, and that is natural, “what will it cost?" I wish I could say this morning it will cost nothing. There shall be no cost. But with the inflationary period in which we are
living, and which will perhaps show signs of increasing rather than
Cong decreasing, why we will have to think in terms of this problem.
In section 5 of the proposal, the resolution that I have presented, there is provision that the expenses of the joint committee shall not exceed $500,000. We assess that figure only for purposes of your study,
Elmer to provide for the acquisition of the manuscripts, photographs, and illustrations from Pare Lorentz, and to provide for expert editorial
thos assistance in bringing the material up to date, ready for publication. approximately $425,000; to provide for the joint session of the Con. gress, and to provide for such other arrangements as the joint committee may see fit for that 100th anniversary celebration, $75,000. This figure does not provide for the printing of the chronicle. That cost can only be estimated when the manuscript and the format and the number of volumes are determined when the chronicle is ready to go to the Public Printer.
But, if we are ready in time for the anniversary, we, of course, must proceed with the authorization for the joint committee, and I am sure you appreciate this, regardless of the form of the resolution, and that should be done, hopefully at an earlier, rather than a later, date.
So we are of the age of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Frankly, regardless of political affiliation, we can now view, I think, objectively, this extraordinary leader, the only one of our Presidents of the United States elected to that office four times. That is in the historical perspective that I speak.
As Lincoln belongs, as we have said, with the ages, I think that Franklin Delano Roosevelt also is worthy of that expression. I am not one to canonize political leaders, but I do remember the voice of Al Franklin Roosevelt, as I heard it over and over again, as I heard it ** in person, as I heard it by radio, and I remember the appeal that was amb within that voice, I remember the abiding faith in our institutions, I wi remember the superb qualities of leadership, regardless of the programs that he espoused, and some battles that he lost. I think he di epitomized, over a great period of time, the yearnings, the dreams fitne which, in a sense he made dynamic; the visions which in a sense het Hy vitalized, which was for the whole body of the American people.
So 34 years have passed since FDR died, and at the time of his death he was still continuing in the service of his country, and we must not forget he was in the service of his country, not because it had been betere decreed that he be, he had been elected and reelected by the people of the United States. That is the strength and the glory of FDŘ, or any other man who comes to this body.
Frankly, that is the strength of Abraham Ribicoff, who is going to leave next year from this body. I have sketched his life, from the very beginning, and talked with him, my seatmate, and I have followed his steps through the years, and he is in the Senate because he was chosen by the people. Chosen by the people for the Governorship of that State, a longer period of time of service than any other man. So it is not a matter of a Democratic Party, or a Republican Party
, Mr. Chairman, it is the stature of the man himself, which goes beyond the framework of the party. That is why I feel so strongly about the Centennial for FDR.
We are, above all else, Americans, and there are points in the history of this country, when, if we zero in, we will be a more united N