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House approves bill preserving FDR records

By Ed O'Keefe

Lawmakers approved legislation on Monday that allows the National Archives and Records Administration to purchase Grace Tully's collection of documents and memorabilia related to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Tully served as an aide to Roosevelt when he served as New York governor and later as president. Her collection includes documents associated with the creation of the Social Security system, a draft copy of the 1941 address to Congress that includes his declarations of war; and personal correspondence between FDR and Winston Churchill, including details of the 1945 Yalta Conference and scorecards of poker games between the two leaders.

Grace Tully
FDR aide Grace Tully, in 1941 (AP file photo).

Fourteen boxes full of Tully's papers have sat sealed since 2005 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, N.Y., awaiting congressional action. Lawmakers must act, because Tully's collection was not included in FDR's original contributions to the government.

"The passage of this legislation will allow for the public to have access to this valuable collection, which provides important insight into one of the most important and transitional eras in country's history," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.). Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) will move the bill through the Senate, where supporters expect easy passage.

The Archives operates 13 presidential libraries, dating back to Herbert Hoover. The Archives take possession of presidential materials at the end of an administration until a presidential library is established.

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 17, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Congress  
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