News & Events

Students Celebrate 140th Birthday of FDR

  • Feb - 01 - 2022


Seventh Graders from Local DC Public School Participate in a Field Trip at FDR Memorial

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 1, 2022) – Students from Browne Education Campus, located in Ward 5 in Washington, D.C., joined the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee (FDR Committee) to celebrate the 140th birthday of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, with two wreath-laying ceremonies at the FDR Memorial. 

The 35 students received an educational tour of the Memorial presented by Jennifer Epstein Education Specialist, National Mall and Memorial Parks. Following the tour, students laid the first wreath beside the life-size sculpture of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his wheelchair. The sculpture by renowned sculptor and artist Robert Graham has greeted all visitors to the memorial since it was installed on January 10, 2001, in the Prologue Room. A second wreath was placed by the original sculpture of FDR wearing a cape while seated near his beloved Scottish Terrier Fala.

"It is of great importance to me that students in DC learn about THEIR history, THEIR monuments, and THEIR city,” said Shaunika Garba, social studies teacher, Browne Education Campus. “Experiences like this allow our students to take ownership which leads to pride and preservation for the future."

Students from Browne Education Campus surround FDR Wheelchair statue to take picture with Mary Dolan, executive director of FDR Committee, and the beautiful red, white, and blue wreath to the left of statue.

For years, the FDR Committee has been a pioneer in using the 7.5 acre FDR Memorial to bring truth and authenticity to history. In fact, when the FDR Memorial opened on May 2, 1997, there was no depiction of FDR as a wheelchair user. Today, twenty-five years later, the organization provides educational programming focused on the disability history of the Memorial – FDR’s own disability and the campaign in the 1990s to include disability representation at the Memorial. This visit by Browne Education Campus is part of expanding this initiative to new generations.

“Today’s visit by these students is an important milestone for 2022 as we kick of the 25th Anniversary of the FDR Memorial,” said Mary E. Dolan, executive director, FDR Committee. “Having the Memorial filled with their excitement and desire to learn was a reminder of how important it is to extend educational opportunities outside of the classroom which is what our education outreach program intends to do.” 

Each year, more than 2.5 million people visit the FDR Memorial to pay tribute to our longest-serving U.S. President. Roosevelt, who contracted polio at age 39, served as President from March 1933 until his death on April 12, 1945.