FDRs Funeral Train: A Betrayed Widow, a Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance: Illustrated lecture with author Robert Klara
Date: Wednesday, September 28th
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2566632
In April 1945, a funeral train carrying the body of Franklin D. Roosevelt embarked on a three-day, thousand-mile odyssey through nine states to bring the presidents remains home to his estate in Hyde Park, New York, where he was buried in the rose garden. Though funeral trains were the customary means of transporting deceased presidents McKinely, Garfield, and Lincoln had all had them.
Washington had never before staged a funeral rite of this scope, duration, and danger: with World War II still raging, the Secret Services decision to permit the most important men and women of the federal government to ride in a single train was, tactically speaking, utterly foolish. But the Roosevelt funeral train turned out to be an event as magisterial as it was necessary. The train not only permitted countless thousands of Americans to pay personal respects to the man who had led them out of a Great Depression and through a global war, but it also furnished Harry S. Truman with the time necessary to school himself in an office had inherited so suddenly. Author and historian Robert Klara will discuss the funeral train’s tactical, political, and symbolic significance, from the difficulty of embalming FDR, to the unknown presence of a KGB spy on board, to the slow national healing process that this remarkable railroad procession allowed to begin.
Robert Klara is the author of “FDRs Funeral Train, The Hidden White House,” and “The Devils Mercedes: The Bizarre and Disturbing Adventures of Hitlers Limousine in America”(due out in 2017). Klara’s books have been praised by publications ranging from The Washington Post to The Christian Science Monitor, which called his work history at its best. Klara has lectured extensively on his writing (most recently at the University Club of New York) and his many media appearances include the Travel Channel and National Public Radio. A longtime magazine writer, Klara’s articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, American Heritage, and The Guardian, among other publications. Klara has also worked as a staff editor for magazines including Town & Country, Architecture, and Adweek. He lives in Brooklyn.
Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is canceled.