Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 1

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 1
"Writing on the Wall" by Andrew James, one of our photo contest finalists.
A reminder of our mission to help each generation define and defend the four freedoms anew. 

Seventy-six years ago today on the precipice of the United States' entry to the Second World War, Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his eighth State of the Union address. In that speech, he shared his vision for a better world, a vision founded by interconnected human rights: the freedoms of religion and speech and from want and fear.

Our memorial is named for this dream, a world President Roosevelt believed possible "within our own time and generation." Perspectives on the meaning of these freedoms have evolved over time, but the core human rights they express continue to affect all of us, and we must continue to defend them. 

As Four Freedoms Park enters its fifth year of operations, we will be celebrating these freedoms with focused thematic public programs and initiatives, as well as developing new partnerships that we hope will inspire our visitors near and far. 

Wishing you all the best,

Howard Axel
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech: A Call for Human Rights “Everywhere in the World”

An excerpt from

Not long past noon on Monday, January 6, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt locked his leg braces into place and mounted the podium of the Capitol’s House of Representatives to deliver his eighth State of the Union address. Newly elected to a third term, FDR was by now a seasoned leader. Indeed, on that winter day in 1941, he was arguably the most experienced and most important statesman in the world.

And the world was falling apart. The Nazis had swallowed Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and France, the Fascist Italians had invaded Ethiopia, Egypt, and Greece, and the Japanese had sacked China and Indochina. In September the three powers had signed the ominous Axis Pact, pledging mutual support in establishing “a new order of things.” Great Britain, a last line of defense against totalitarianism in Europe, had held fast during months of German bombing and U-boat attacks, but was now much depleted of armaments and out of money.

FDR had a great deal to accomplish in his speech. Most immediately, he asked Congress to authorize and fund “a swift and driving increase” in American arms production. He also asked listeners to support his plan (the “Lend-Lease” program) to give the British and other Allies ready access to American airplanes, ships, tanks, and other munitions without having to pay for them in cash.

But FDR went beyond these short-term goals to explain to a country deeply troubled at the prospect of sending its sons into combat on foreign soil just what was at stake for Americans in this war. Continued here.

Photo: A commemorative five-cent postage stamp honoring the recently deceased Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Four Freedoms, 1946. The Four Freedoms concept captured the essence of FDR’s values: his remaking of the federal government into an instrument of common purpose that could promote citizens’ basic security and protect their individual rights, as well as his perception of the world as inevitably and, he hoped, peacefully interconnected. is made possible by its lead donor, Stavros Niarchos Foundation. 
Freedom of Speech & Expression · Freedom of Worship ·  
Freedom from Want ·  Freedom from Fear
About the Park

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is the first memorial dedicated to the former President in his home state of New York. Located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in New York City, it is the last work of the late Louis I. Kahn, an iconic architect of the 20th century. The Park celebrates the Four Freedoms, as pronounced in President Roosevelt's famous January 6, 1941 State of the Union speech.

Our Mission
Four Freedoms Park Conservancy operates, maintains, and programs Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park to the highest standard. As steward of this extraordinary civic space designed by Louis I. Kahn, the Conservancy advances President Roosevelt’s legacy and inspires, educates, and engages the public in the ideals of the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The Conservancy does this by:

•    safeguarding the memorial as a space for inspired use
•    fostering community and understanding
•    igniting conversation about human rights and freedoms today
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Four Freedoms Park Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions help to further the mission of the Conservancy and are tax-deductible as provided by law. A copy of our last filed financial report may be obtained by contacting us at 1110 2nd Ave, Ste 301, New York, NY 10022, 212-204-8831 or by contacting the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Law, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.

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