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Anthony Musso

Author/Public Speaker

FDR & THE POST OFFICE


Franklin D. Roosevelt's interest in the Post Office came at a young age as family members regularly sent him foreign postage stamps while engaged in trade overseas. He embraced the hobby as a means to bolster his interest in geography and world history by documenting various facts related to each stamps' origin, and its significance to the issuing country's heritage.


When stricken with infantile paralysis, the twenty-one year old found much comfort and intellectual stimulation from working with his growing stamp collection. So significant was its impact at the time that he repeatedly credited his involvement with the hobby as having saved his life.


When he entered public service and his pastime became known, Roosevelt became the recipient of numerous philatelic gifts from both admiring supporters and world leaders. Upon being elected president of the United States, Roosevelt appointed his campaign manager and longtime ally James Farley to the position of Postmaster General. The appointment and partnership between the lifetime stamp enthusiast and savvy businessman would forever change the face of both stamp collecting and the Post Office Department. It would also present Roosevelt with the enviable opportunity to actually design several commemorative stamps and oversee virtually every one issued during his terms as president.


As part of Roosevelt's "New Deal" program he created the Works Progress Administration, an initiative that in the process of creating work for the nation's unemployed resulting from the Great Depression was responsible for the construction of hundreds of Pot Office buildings.


This book reviews how Roosevelt's passionate interest in a pastime primarily viewed at the time as being limited to a young audience, and his continuing and hands-on involvement with all aspects associated with the department that issued the tiny artwork treasures of documented history provided it with a new credibility and lasting presence for both its pleasure and educational value.