The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is an outdoor memorial dedicated to the 32nd U.S. President and his wife, First Lady Eleanor. Located on the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, this unique tribute is a chronological walk-through of his presidency and the historic events that occurred during his time in office.
Roosevelt was the only President to be elected to four terms, serving from March 4, 1933 until his death on April 12, 1945, just months after his fourth inauguration. Vice President Harry S. Truman completed Roosevelt’s term. Prior to that, the two-term limit had been set only by tradition established by First President George Washington, not by law. After Roosevelt, however, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution officially setting the maximum number of times a person could be elected to two.
The Memorial is organized into four outdoor “rooms,” one for each of his four terms. His famous quotes are carved into the stone walls that divide the rooms. Water features add sound and calm during the warmer months. Sculptures symbolizing the events of each time period help tell the story of the man and the era in which he lived. The Great Depression, World War II, his death and private struggle with paralysis from polio are all depicted in bronze. The memorial is a walking history lesson.
The outdoor memorial is open 24 hours a day. Self-guided and guided tours are available. Admission is free. Enter the memorial on the north side from West Basin Drive, SW in order to view it chronologically. Stop by the Visitor Center located at the start of the memorial during open hours to inquire about tours, pick up a brochure, purchase books, or use the restroom.