To Learn from the Past

 “The dedication of a library is in itself an act of faith. To bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a Nation must believe in three things. It must believe in the past. It must believe in the future. It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgment in creating their own future.”

Program of the dedication of the FDR Library, 1941

Official Program for Dedication of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. June 30, 1941.

One of the projects of the WPA was to save records from all communities in the USA.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA; renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) was an American New Deal agency that employed millions of jobseekers (mostly men who were not formally educated) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.


By Becky Kirkpatrick-Oppe

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