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May 5, 1997 -- No. 319

UNC-CH's William Leuchtenburg helped with Roosevelt dedication

CHAPEL HILL -- Dr. William E. Leuchtenburg, William Rand Kenan Jr. professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, played a prominent role in the dedication of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., May 2.

At the invitation of Lawrence Halprin, the San Francisco landscape architect who designed the memorial, Leuchtenburg selected the quotations from Roosevelt that have been set in granite for generations to come.

Leuchtenburg was the only scholar asked to contribute an essay for the program of the dedication ceremonies on the significance of FDR's presidency. He also was an invited guest at the event, at which President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Princess Margriet of The Netherlands and other dignitaries spoke.

Several days earlier, Leuchtenburg took part in a Roosevelt symposium at Kansas State University, together with scholars James MacGregor Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Arthur Schlesinger Jr. He lectured on the Supreme Court crisis of FDR's second term. In the concluding panel of the symposium attended by several hundred people, he engaged in a colloquy with former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, the daughter of Governor Alf Landon of Kansas, who Roosevelt defeated in the 1936 presidential contest.

Winner of the Bancroft Prize and of the Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians, Leuchtenburg is the author of “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-40,” “In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Bill Clinton,” “The Supreme Court Reborn: The Constitutional Revolution in the Age of Roosevelt” and “The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy.”

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Contact: David Williamson