Sunday, September 09, 2007

Eleanor Roosevelt visits Gary's hometown 1937

Ten years before my birth my hometown of West Liberty, Ky. had a very famous visitor. Eleanor Rossevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, came to town to dedicate the new WPA built Morgan County High School. I graduated from the same school in 1966.

The year was 1937 and Mrs. Roosevelt was in West Liberty because of the government's program of building schools under the Works Progress Administration, a program designed to put American workers back to work after the depression.

There was much excitement in the air on her arrival, from stories i have heard passed down from those attending. According to the stories Mrs. Roosevelt was very proud of the WPA program President Roosevelt and Congress had established to help get American workers back on their feet.

So what better place to come to for a dedication of a government project than a small community in Eastern Kentucky. The visit and dedication went great, and all had a good time from the stories told. Our moment of history.

That brings me to my feelings about that moment in history. As my friends know i am a history addict, especially about 'Appalachia'. When i walked the halls of my beloved old school and played in that gym, i was always reminded of Mrs. Roosevelt's presence there years ago. Even now that the school has been renovated into a community center, and county office building, i still get shivers when i walk those halls or go to the gym. She will always have a place in my heart for taking the time to come to my hometown on that day in 1937.

This story is dedicated to the memory of Eleanor Roosevelt


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