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New Special Exhibition

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D-Day: FDR and Churchill’s “Mighty Endeavor”

May 25, 2019-January 6, 2020

“D-Day: FDR and Churchill’s ‘Mighty Endeavor’” marks the 75th anniversary of the Allies greatest military achievement, the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy. Code-named Operation OVERLORD it sealed the fate of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.

This exhibit explores a friendship often called the most important of the twentieth century. Forged amid the most devastating war in human history, it has attained an almost mythic status. The complexity of their “special relationship” is revealed in the top-secret communications that flowed back and forth across the Atlantic as they debated and decided on the greatest amphibious assault in the annals of war.

OVERLORD was a triumph of Allied cooperation and planning—and “D-Day” takes you inside the rooms where it happened. On the surface Anglo-American unity was the top priority. Yet behind the public face of Allied harmony lay a more conflicted reality. Years of disagreements, postponements, and sometime angry debate preceded the decision to undertake the great invasion. Churchill observed, “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.” Understanding their differences makes the successful wartime collaboration in their “mighty endeavor” even more remarkable. Using the collections of the Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library and the Churchill Archives Centre of Churchill College, Cambridge, this special exhibit tells the story of that collaboration and the friendship that sustained it.

Featuring four interactive installations including a 65” touch-table showing the location and movement of the 1.2 million soldiers and sailors involved in the invasion, visitors can explore the actual maps and classified cables from FDR’s super-secret Map Room. There are 69 documents, many never seen in public before, and 39 artifacts including a rare ECM Mark II SIGABA cipher machine that was used to encode the most sensitive transmissions from FDR to Churchill. A wide range of historic photographs, films, newspapers, and cartoons show the extraordinary scope of Operation OVERLORD. 

“D-Day: FDR and Churchill’s Mighty Endeavor” will be open to the public in the William vanden Heuvel Gallery from May 25th until January 6th, 2020.

This exhibit was made possible through the generous support of our nonprofit partner the Roosevelt Institute and the following:

  • Charina Endowment
  • The Dyson Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Roosevelt Institute
  • The National Archives and Records Administration
  • Churchill Archives Centre of Churchill College, Cambridge
  • The National Trust, Chartwell
  • National Cryptologic Museum
  • America’s National Churchill Museum
  • Wilderstein Historic Site

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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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