Franklin D. Roosevelt photo

Veto of H.R. 6482.

August 21, 1937

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith without my approval H.R. 6482, An Act, "Providing for cooperation with the State of Oklahoma in constructing a permanent memorial to Will Rogers."

Will Rogers was a beloved figure in our national life and I shared in full measure the admiration and affection which his fellow countrymen everywhere accorded him. He was for many long years my personal friend.

Yet it is in large part because of my personal friendship for him that I am certain that if he could speak he would be the last to desire the enactment of Federal legislation of this character.

The Act provides for the designing and construction at Claremore, Oklahoma, of a suitable permanent memorial to his memory. The type of that memorial is nowhere set forth in this Act.

I am sure, as one who knew the depth of Will Rogers' love for his fellow man, that he would have desired a living memorial- something that would carry joy and gladness into the hearts of those he left behind.

With these thoughts in mind I cannot forbear to mention Will Rogers' deep love of children. You and I who knew him through the years are well aware of his devotion to childhood. He contributed generously to the care of handicapped children and in providing education for boys and girls who could not afford it.

It is my thought, therefore, that the Congress at the next session may care to reconsider the form that a memorial to Will Rogers should properly assume. I believe the Congress, upon further deliberation, could devise a more appropriate means of perpetuating Will Rogers' memory which, at the same time, would be more in consonance with sound Federal practice.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Veto of H.R. 6482. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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