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Politics

SNF Backs 4 Freedoms Park, FDR Website

NEW YORK – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has provided generous support for fdr4freedoms.org, a free educational resource chronicling the life and times of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The announcement for the launch of fdr4freedoms.org was made during this year’s Presidents Day celebration by the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, the organization which with New York State jointly operates Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, the first memorial dedicated to the former President in his home state.

The memorial is located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in New York City and is an official New York State Park.

The site offers free tools to students and teachers whose “digital content goes a long way towards connecting the younger generations with FDR’s monumental legacy, and provides many additional opportunities to further enhance it,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of SNF, which is also a major donor to Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.

The resources made available through fdr4freedoms.org are compatible with high school and college curricula and complement the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedom Park’s extensive educational and public programming.

The Four Freedoms were declared by FDR during his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1941, when darkness reigned at the beginning of WWII, just after the resounding Greek “OXI – No!” to Mussolini gave people some hope and 11 months before the U.S. declared war on Japan.

He said they were the four fundamental freedoms that belonged to people “everywhere in the world” – Freedom of speech, Freedom of worship, Freedom from want and Freedom from fear.

Through its in-depth analysis of national and global events and the availability of primary source materials,fdr4freedoms.org is designed to help teachers and students supplement current curricula and further address Common Core State Standards.

“Equivalent to more than 400 pages of written text, fdr4freedoms.org constitutes a comprehensive monograph on President Roosevelt’s life and his influence on the most critical events of the 20th century – the Great Depression and World War II. Its features include: Fifty-two downloadable chapters, each exploring a specific topic related to President Roosevelt ranging from his pivotal New Deal to the historic 1939 Marian Anderson concert to the establishment of the United Nations; More than 800 primary sources, including archival photographs, newspaper clippings, and audio and video footage; Short biographies of 80 key historical figures; and a collection of five-minute originally produced documentaries,” according to a press release.

Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Conservancy and of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, told TNH, “Our hope was to make Four Freedoms Park a pioneer example of the use of outdoor public space for major educational purposes. This website does that. It provides a superb history of the Roosevelt era for the thousands who come to the Park each month and it makes this history equally available to the vast online audience interested in the era of the greatest President of the 20th century. The website is an achievement of great significance in the field of education.”

Designed by Louis I. Kahn, an iconic architect of the 20th century, the park includes walkways lined with trees, waterfront promenades, and a portrait bust of President Roosevelt created by artist Jo Davidson. It was first announced in 1973 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Mayor John Lindsay, and other visionary urban planners, and was dedicated on October 17, 2012.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. From 1996 until today, SNF has approved grant commitments of $1.57 billion through 2,816 grants to nonprofit organizations in 110 nations around the world.

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