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PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT - COLLECTION - HFSID 91092

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT This historic collection of documents is from an oft-overlooked facet of the United States' entry into World War I, the "Eyes for the Navy" program. It includes a typed letter, signed by FDR as Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Navy in 1918, thanking a South Carolina citizen for loaning binoculars to the Navy.

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FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
This historic collection of documents is from an oft-overlooked facet of the United States' entry into World War I, the "Eyes for the Navy" program. It includes a typed letter, signed by FDR as Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Navy in 1918, thanking a South Carolina citizen for loaning binoculars to the Navy.
Four items: 1)
Typed letter signed "Franklin D Roosevelt" as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. 1 page, 7¾x10¼, on letterhead from the Assistant Secretary's Office of the Navy Department. Jan. 6, 1918. Addressed to Miss M. L. O'Hear, Charleston, South Carolina. In full: "Dear Madam:- Your prompt and patriotic response to the NAVY'S call for binoculars is most ap-preciated. The glasses will be very useful in the prosecution of Naval Operations until victory is won. At the termination of the war, if possible, every effort will be made to return them to you, when it is hoped that you will feel compensated for any evidence of wear, by the knowledge that you have supplied 'Eyes for the NAVY' during a very trying period. On behalf of the NAVY, I wish to thank you most heartily. Very respectfully, Assistant Secretary of the Navy." Lightly toned, soiled, foxed and creased. Folded once vertically and twice horizontally and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition. Accompanied by: Document with facsimile signature: "Franklin D Roosevelt" as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. 1 page, 8x11½, with blindfolded sailor cachet at top edge. Certificate of thanks for "Mrs. E. Clarkson" for loaning optical instruments to the Navy's "Eyes for the Navy" program. Lightly toned, foxed and rippled. Random ink stains. Folded twice and unfolded. Light tear on right side along fold. Otherwise in fine condition. 3) Check signed by the Pay Director of the United States Navy and, on verso, endorsed by Esther Clarkson on verso. April 30, 1918. U. S. Treasury check no. 160526 for $1, made out by the Navy Disbursing Office to Clarkson for "Binoculars". Perforated bottom edge. Lightly toned and stained. Endorsement has bled lightly but is legible. Folded once and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition. 4) Unsigned document from the Navy Department Bureau of Supplies and Accounts in Washington D. C. According to this document, the $1 check included in this collection was for the Navy's purchase price of a pair of binoculars. This check was to constitute a rental fee instead of purchase price if the Navy was able to return the binoculars at the end of World War I. Lightly toned and creased. Light rear at left edge. Folded twice and unfolded. Light tear at right edge along fold. Otherwise in fine condition. During World War I, the United States Navy faced a problem: most binoculars, telescopes and sextants were made by German companies. These instruments were essential to warships in an age before global positioning satellites and radar. Luckily for the Allies, American residents had bought a great quantity of these instruments before the war. Realizing this, the Navy asked U. S. citizens to loan these instruments to the Navy - in essence, to give "Eyes For The Navy". Most of these instruments were returned after the war. This campaign included a poster by Gordon Grant, Will You Supply Eyes for the Navy, asked Americans "Will You Help Us 'Stand Watch' on a Destroyer?" by sending their optical instruments to Roosevelt at the Naval Observatory in Washington. ROOSEVELT (1882-1945, born in Hyde Park, NY) is an American politician who served as president during two of the most difficult times in world history, the Great Depression and World War II. He also served as president for four terms (1933-1945), longer than any other president in history. Roosevelt's parents were from old New York families, and he was raised in privilege. Theodore, his fifth cousin, was elected president in 1902; his leadership style and lust for reform made him Franklin's hero and role model. Roosevelt was elected to the New York State Senate in 1910; he ran as a Democrat in a district that hadn't elected a Democrat since 1884, but ran on his privileged name and rode a Democratic landslide to the State Senate, where he joined reformers in opposing New York City's Tammany Hall Democratic machine. He resigned in 1913 when appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-1920), where he worked to expand the Navy and founded the Navy Reserve and where he met Winston Churchill for the first time in 1918. He ran as vice president with James M. Cox of Ohio, but they were handily defeated by Warren Harding. He contracted a paralytic illness in 1921 while vacationing in Campobello Island, New Brunswick, widely believed to be poliomyelitis, which permanently paralyzed him from the waist down. Not many people knew at the time that he was paralyzed, though, thanks in part to a cooperative press. He was elected Governor of New York (1928-1932), a governorship that was marred by his reluctant deal-making with the faltering Tammany Hall machine during his 1930 re-election run. He was elected president in 1932, three years into the worldwide Great Depression, a depression that contributed to the rise of Adolf Hitler. Roosevelt tried to get people back to work with the New Deal and prevent the same thing happening in the United States. The New Deal was a patchwork of programs that scholars now agree had limited success at best in ending the Depression, and some of its programs, like the National Recovery Administration (NRA), were determined to be unconstitutional. However, programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps employed hundreds of thousands of Americans and programs like NRA and the Tennessee Valley Authority injected billions of federal dollars into the economy. Roosevelt was also responsible for Social Security benefits for the elderly and minimum wage laws. He began re-arming the United States in 1938, in the face of strong isolationism, and declared that the United States would become an "arsenal of democracy" against Hitler. But the isolationism dissolved with the attacks on Pearl Harbor, and the United States entered World War II. Roosevelt's administration put the nation on a war footing while coordinating strategy with his counterparts Churchill and Josef Stalin, the so-called "Big Three". He died four months before V-J Day and the official end of World War II on Aug. 12, 1945.

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