FDR’s address at the dedication of the Triborough Bridge (pp 1-2), NY, 7/11/1936
File Unit: First Carbon Files, 1933 - 1945
Series: Speeches of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 - 1945
Collection: Papers as President, President's Personal File, 1933 - 1945
Address Of The President On The Occasion Of The Dedication Of The Triborough Bridge New York, N.Y. July 11, 1936
Governor Lehman, Mayor LaGuardia, Secretary Ickes, Commissioner Moses, ladies and gentlemen:
Many of you who are here today, old people like myself, can remember (that) when (you) we were boys and girls the greater part of what are now the Boroughs of the Bronx and Queens were cultivated (as) farm land. A little further back but not much more than (one) a hundred years ago, my own great-grandfather owned a farm in Harlem, right across there (indicating), close to the Manhattan approach (to) of this bridge. But I am quite sure, Bob Moses, that he never dreamed of the bridge.
In the older days there was no need for a (great) structure like this connecting Long Island and Manhattan and the mainland; and even if a vast population in those days had needed it, human ingenuity and engineering skill could not have built it.
Some of us who are charged with the responsibilities of government pause from time to time to ask ourselves whether human needs and human inventions are going to change as (greatly) rapidly in the generations to come as they have changed in the generation that has passed.
It is not alone that as time goes by we are confronted with new needs - needs created by hitherto undreamed of conditions - it is also because growth in human knowledge labels (now) things as needs (many) today, things which in the olden days we did not think of as needs.
For (instance) example. It was not so long ago that no one used to protest against the dumping of sewage and garbage into our rivers and harbors. No one used to protest that our schoolhouses were badly ventilated and badly lighted. No one used to protest because there were no playgrounds for children in crowded tenement areas. No one used to protest against firetraps (or) and factory smoke.
In those days government was not interested in helping to provide bathing beaches (and) swimming pools and recreational areas; nor had those who toiled in those days conceived the thought that they were entitled to at least one (day of) day's rest in seven (and) or entitled to an annual vacation.
There are a few among us, luckily a few, luckily only a few, who still, consciously or unconsciously, live in a state of constant protest against the daily processes of meeting modern needs. Most of us, I am glad to say, are willing to recognize change and to give it reasonable and constant help. (Applause)
35 notes · View notes