As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed to the public as of Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time.
Eight years before Franklin Roosevelt first ran for president, he was espousing progressivism as a national mandate for confronting the nation's problems, much like his fifth cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, had done two decades earlier. "The Democratic Party is the Progressive party of the country," FDR proclaimed in 1924." Two years later, he warned that "a nation or a state which is unwilling by governmental action to tackle the new problems . . . is headed for decline and ultimate death." Given the subsequent hardships of the Great Depression, Roosevelt as president found himself at the head of the class in caricaturist Adolf Dehn's Progressive School for Democrats. Roosevelt's New Deal was largely an experimental program of reforms like Social Security, Federal Deposit Insurance, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, which at the very least promised to be lessons in federal entitlements and interventions.