Franklin D. Roosevelt

Greeting by Telephone to the Holland Society of New York.

January 17, 1935

My friends and associates of the Holland Society of New York:

Presidential plans for future engagements are, I find to my sorrow, more susceptible to change than the plans of any private citizen. I had counted for many months on being with all of you tonight on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Holland Society. I take some comfort at least in the fact that it required a reception in the White House to the Judiciary of the United States to keep me away from your dinner.

I need not tell you of my long interest in and association with the Holland Society. I feel a just pride in what the Society has stood for as the exponent and recorder of the great contribution made, through three hundred years, by men and women of Netherland descent in the building of the United States.

Our early forbears brought from the Netherlands a quality of endurance against great odds—a quality of quiet determination to conquer obstacles of nature and obstacles of man. That is why for many years I have been so deeply interested in the preservation of the records and monuments left in New York City and the Hudson River Valley by the Dutch pioneers. The influence of New Netherland on the whole Colonial period of our history, which culminated in the War for Independence, has not as yet been fully recognized. It was an influence which made itself felt in all of the other twelve Colonies, and it is an influence which manifests itself today in almost every part of our Union of States.

To all of you I send my greetings. We honor those men and women of early days who made so much out of such small beginnings. Let us who treasure their memories not fall short of the measure of their deeds.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Greeting by Telephone to the Holland Society of New York. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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