FDR and the Post Office
Author: Anthony P. Musso
144 pages, paperback
Anthony Musso was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and relocated to New York's Hudson Valley region in the mid-1980s. His interest in history was enhanced by the region's numerous historic sites, one being the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. As a longtime philatelic enthusiast, he shares FDR's philosophy regarding the educational value of stamp collecting. As such, he has given various presentations to school groups and civic organizations on the topic for the past twenty years. A professional writer/editor and media relations manager, this is his first published book.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's interest in the Post Office came at a young age as family regularly sent him foreign postage stamps while engaged in trade overseas. He embraced the hobby as a means to bolster his interest in geography and world history by documenting various facts related to each stamp's origin, and its significance to the issuing country's heritage.
When stricken with infantile paralysis, the twenty-nine year old found much comfort and intellectual stimulation from working with his growing stamp collection. So significant was its impact at the time that he repeatedly credited his involvement in the hobby as having saved his life.
When he entered public service and his pastime became known, Roosevelt became the recipient of numerous philatelic gifts from both admiring supporters and world leaders. Upon being elected president of the United States, Roosevelt appointed his campaign manager and longtime ally James Farley to the position of Postmaster General. The appointment and partnership between the lifetime stamp enthusiast and savvy businessman would forever change the face of both stamp collecting and the Post Office Department. It would also present Roosevelt with the enviable opportunity to actually design several commemorative stamps and oversee virtually every one issued during his terms as president.
As part of Roosevelt's "New Deal" program he created the Works Progress Administration, an initiative that in the process of creating work for the nation's unemployed resulting from the Great Depression was responsible for the construction of hundreds of Post Office buildings.
This book reviews how Roosevelt’s passionate interest in a pastime primarily viewed at the time as being limited to a young audience, and his continuing and hands-on involvement with all aspects associated with the department that issued the tiny artwork treasures of documented history provided it with a new credibility and lasting presence for both its pleasure and educational value