Week Without Roosevelts
It was fun to come home from the workaday world of the 21st century and enter, for two hours, the 19th and 20th. This was recent history, though, times that my parents and grandparents lived through, and times, therefore, that I don't always consider history.
But it is history, and well worth learning. The film left me with curiosity — wanting to read books about TR, FDR and ER — and with hard-to-forget images: a diagram of where the bullet struck Teddy Roosevelt as he was giving a campaign speech. (He spoke for another hour before going to the hospital.) Photographs of ordinary Americans, their heads inclined toward big boxy radios, listening to FDR's fireside chats.
On those nights, you could leave your house, walk down the street and never stop listening to the president's voice, said one commentator. FDR's words, calm and comforting, were pouring out of every window, were soothing the jangled nerves of a troubled nation.
Would we ever again be so unified? Maybe on September 12, 2001. But then again, maybe not.