WBEZ | FDR http://www.wbez.org/tags/fdr Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en At the '32 DNC, FDR and a 'New Deal' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/32-dnc-fdr-and-new-deal-102004 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/09-04--Stadium.jpg" title="Chicago Stadium (Chicago Daily News)" /></div><p>In 1932 the Great Depression was in its third year. Banks were closing and unemployment stood at about 25 percent. Many Americans felt hopeless.</p><p>This was an election year. With no improvement in sight, President Herbert Hoover and the Republicans were on the way out. The next president would probably be a Democrat.</p><p>The Democratic Convention met at the new Chicago Stadium that June. On the third ballot, the delegates nominated Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York as their presidential candidate. They then appointed a committee to go to New York, and notify Roosevelt at a later date.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/09-04--courtesy FDR Presidential Library.jpg" style="height: 293px; width: 200px; float: left; " title="Nominee Roosevelt on his way to Chicago (Courtesy Roosevelt Presidential Library)" />That&rsquo;s the way it had always been done. But now there was radio. Everybody knew whom the Democrats had picked, as soon as it happened. Roosevelt sent word to the delegates to forget about the committee, and stay put. <em>He</em> would come to Chicago.</p><p>And to get there in a hurry, he would travel by airplane!</p><p>That&rsquo;s wasn&rsquo;t easy to do. Since Roosevelt couldn&rsquo;t walk, he had to be transported everywhere in a wheelchair. The flight itself took several hours, battling storm and heavy headwinds.</p><p>But on the evening of June 2, the candidate was at the Chicago Stadium. He didn&rsquo;t look like someone who was in constant pain from his disability. He didn&rsquo;t look like someone who had just endured a bumpy, marathon flight in a 1932-model plane. He was smiling.</p><p>Roosevelt radiated confidence. Speaking to the Convention and to the unseen radio audience, he said that the times called for bold action. That&rsquo;s why he had abandoned the ridiculous idea that he should wait around, pretending to be ignorant, until he was formally notified. Of course he knew that the delegates had chosen him.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/09-04--Hoover with FDR, 1933 (architect of the Capitol).jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 200px; float: right; " title="Inauguration Day 1933--Hoover and Roosevelt (Architect of the U.S. Capitol photo)" />Now it was time to get busy, win the election, and get the country moving again. &ldquo;Millions of our citizens cherish the hope that their old standards of living and of thought have not gone forever.&rdquo; he concluded. &ldquo;I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.&rdquo;</p><p>Roosevelt had captured the mood of a nation ready to break with failed policies. That fall he beat Hoover in a landslide. The new president&rsquo;s program came to be known by the phrase he used in his acceptance speech &ndash; the New Deal.</p><p>Today scholars debate whether Roosevelt&rsquo;s policies helped the country recover from the Depression. But he sure restored America&rsquo;s belief in itself.</p></p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-08/32-dnc-fdr-and-new-deal-102004 Could postal service woes threaten architecture delivered by FDR's New Deal? http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-09-12/could-postal-service-woes-threaten-architecture-delivered-fdrs-new-deal-9183 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-12/usps.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-11/untitled shoot-037.jpg" style="margin-right: 15px; width: 300px; height: 400px; float: left;" title="">The U.S. Postal Service is in well-documented dire straits these days.</p><p>Postal officials are discussing closing locations and downsizing services across the country. In the Chicago area, <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-27/news/ct-met-post-offices-close-20110727_1_closings-village-post-office-usps">14 sites</a> are being contemplated for closure. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay the postman from his or her rounds, sure. But the writer of the motto had no way of seeing the other threats to the 236-year-old institution such as online bill paying, email and private package delivery services. The agency could <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/postal-service-warns-it-could-lose-10-billion-this-year/2011/09/05/gIQAQWEw4J_story.html">lose $10 billion</a> this year.</p><p>It wasn't always this way. The postal system was once as much of a sign of a modern America as were paved roads and electric power. And from 1933 to 1943, the old federal Public Works Administration, under FDR's "New Deal", built more than 400 new post offices across the country. The PWA post offices were real beauties, too: attractive, well-designed, modern. There were often beautiful murals and modern light fixtures on the inside. Stylistically, the buildings landed somewhere between Art Deco and Art Moderne--as streamlined and efficient as the service postal officials wanted customers to find inside.</p><p>Chicago landed a fair number of these new post office facilities. in 1934 alone, the PWA set aside enough cash to build 18 of them, including Stockyard Station at 41st and Halsted, seen in the photo here. And while the only potentially-endangered Chicago post office of this vintage is the Englewood Station at 63rd and Peoria (more on that later), one can't help but wonder what the future holds for some of these 70 to 80-year-old buildings here and across the country. How long can they survive with a landlord that loses $10 billion a year?</p><p>Let's take another look the Stockyards post office completed in 1936 and designed by Howard L. Cheney. It was built when the Union Stockyards stood across the street, and the entrance features well-done reliefs of an eagle on one side of the door and a steer's head on the other:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-021.jpg" style="width: 219px; height: 326px; margin: 0px;" title=""><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-031.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 326px; margin: 0px;" title=""></p><p>Here is the Englewood post office at 63rd and Wallace that postal officials are the thinking about closing. Serial killer H.H. Holmes' <em>Devil in the White City</em> house of horrors previously stood on the site:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-019.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 312px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The Roseland post office at 110th and State is well-preserved, right down to its louvered window and that Buck Rogers-looking flagpole above the main entrance. It was built for $122,000:</p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-009.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 358px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The Roseland post office has a few fraternal twins around town, including this one at California and Medill in Logan Square. The entrance alone is worth the price of postage:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-12/untitled shoot-055.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 414px;" title=""></p></p> Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-09-12/could-postal-service-woes-threaten-architecture-delivered-fdrs-new-deal-9183 History of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/history-black-arts-movement-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/south side community art center.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many people are still reeling from the death of Margaret Burroughs, the founder of the <a href="http://www.dusablemuseum.org/" target="_blank">DuSable Museum of African American History</a>. Borroughs was an artist and activist who had such a passion for art that she brought it into her home, literally.</p><p><a href="http://www.sscac.net/home" target="_blank">The South Side Community Arts Center</a> was a haven for many of Chicago&rsquo;s black artists and the precursor to the DuSable Museum. It was one of 110 art centers established nationwide as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/new_deal_for_the_arts/useful_arts3.html" target="_blank">Work Projects</a>.</p><p>In 2005, WBEZ&rsquo;s Steve Edwards talked with Eight Forty-Eight's longtime contributor, Rita Coburn Whack, about a documentary she produced about the center. Rita says the black artist movement began at the turn of the century. To get a better sense of the contributions of Margaret Burroughs and her contemporaries, Eight Forty-Eight revisits that conversation.</p><p>Whack produced the documentary, &quot;<a href="http://wn.com/curators_of_culture" target="_blank">Curators of Culture</a>,&quot; for <a href="http://wn.com/WYCC" target="_blank">WYCC</a>.</p><p><em>Music Button: Brad Goode, &quot;Nightengale&quot;, from the CD Tight Like This, (Delmark) </em></p></p> Tue, 23 Nov 2010 14:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/history-black-arts-movement-chicago