DescriptionFranklin D. Roosevelt: Program Booklet Signed as President.
-December 9, 1935. University of Notre Dame. 6" x 9".
-A few stains, very good condition.
"Program of Special Convocation". FDR's bold signature appears in the top margin of the cover. The program outlined here honored the new Commonwealth of the Philippines.
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A signed program booklet for the "Special Convocation/ University of Notre Dame/ December 9, 1935/ Honoring the New Commonwealth of the Philippines/ At 2:30 p.m./ University Gymnasium." FDR boldly signs his full name at the top of the program booklet. This booklet details the series of events in the program, presided over by His Eminence George Cardinal Mundelein, with Citations for degree of doctor of laws, honoris causa, conferred on both President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as well as Philippines statesman Carlos Peña Romulo. Both FDR and Romulo also gave addresses, ending with the blessing by Cardinal Mundelein and the Victory March being played by the University of Notre Dame Band. The program booklet, with the seal of the University of Notre Dame, measures 6 x 9 and is in pristine condition, with no stains or stray marks of any kind. Carlos Peña Romulo (1899–1986) was a Philippine statesman and writer. With war between the United States and Japan approaching, Romulo toured (1941) East Asia and wrote a series of articles on the military-political situation, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, Romulo became (1941) a press aide to General Douglas MacArthur. After the Philippines fell (1942) to the Japanese, he became a member of Manuel Quezon's government-in-exile, and later served (1944–1946) as resident commissioner to the United States. He was a delegate to the United Nations from its inception, and was elected (1949) President of the United Nations General Assembly. Cofounder of the Nationalist party, he withdrew from his Presidential candidacy in favor of Magsaysay. He also served intermittently as Philippine Ambassador to the United States. President of the University of the Philippines (1962–1968), he served under President Marcos as Secretary of Education, and was later appointed (1968) Foreign Secretary. Despite the liberal politics of his early career, he supported Marcos's imposition of martial law, and came to advocate censorship. A prolific writer, his works include I Saw the Fall of the Philippines (1942), I See the Philippines Rise (1946), Crusade in Asia (1955), The Meaning of Bandung (1956), and his autobiography, I Walked with Heroes (1961). George Mundelein, later George Cardinal Mundelein, (1872-1939) was the eighth Bishop (third Archbishop) of the Roman Catholic diocese of Chicago, serving from 1915 to 1939 (succeeded Archbishop James Edward Quigley). He was born on July 20, 1872 in New York City to a family of German ancestry, and ordained a priest on June 8, 1895 in the Diocese of Brooklyn. On June 30, 1909 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Loryma and Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, New York where he was ordained a Bishop on September 21, 1909. He was appointed Archbishop of Chicago, on December 9, 1915 and installed February 9, 1916. He was elevated to Cardinal on March 24, 1924, and served as Archbishop until his death at the age of 67. During his tenure at the Archdiocese of Chicago, Mundelein launched an effort to unify ethnic Catholic groups such as the Poles and Italians into territorial, instead of ethnic, parishes with mixed success. The Archdiocese greatly expanded its charity functions during the Great Depression, rivaling that of the Jewish Charities of Chicago. A city-wide network of St. Vincent de Paul Societies was established. Here are FDR's words in his address to the Special Convocation on December 9, 1935 at the University of Notre Dame: "Cardinal Mundelein, President O'Hara, you, the members of the great Notre Dame family, of whom I am proud and happy to become a part today. In acknowledging the honor which, through the granting of this Degree, the University of Notre Dame confers upon me, I wish first personally to thank your President, the Very Reverend John F. O'Hara, and all the members of your faculty. And I cannot, without feeling a little choke in my voice, thank my old friend, His Eminence, Cardinal Mundelein. I deeply appreciate the honor and the accompanying citation. One in public life learns that personally he can never be worthy of the honors that come to him as an official of the United States Government. But it is equally true that I am most happy to be so honored. The honor places upon me an additional obligation to try to live up to the citation, both for the sake of my country and, also, as a new alumnus of the University of Notre Dame. I am especially happy to take part in this special convocation called to honor the new Commonwealth of the Philippines. And I am especially privileged to have heard that brilliant address of Mr. Romulo, who so well represents his Commonwealth. It cannot seem so long because even I remember it; and yet it is almost forty years since the United States took over the sovereignty of the Philippine Islands. The acceptance of sovereignty was but an obligation to serve the people of the Philippines until the day they might themselves be independent and take their own place among the Nations of the world. We are here to welcome the Commonwealth. I consider it one of the happiest events in my office as President of the United States, to have signed in the name of the United States the instrument which will give national freedom to the Philippine people. The time is not given me to recite the history of these forty years. That history reveals one of the most extraordinary examples of national cooperation, national adjustment and national independence the world has ever witnessed. It is a tribute to the genius of the Philippine people. Subject to the Government of a country other than their own, they generously adjusted themselves to conditions often not to their liking; they patiently waited; they forfeited none of that essential freedom which is natively theirs as a people, a freedom which they have so definitely expressed with due regard for fundamental human rights in their new Constitution. We have a clear right also to congratulate ourselves as a people because in the long run we have chosen the right course with respect to the Philippine Islands. Through our power we have not sought more power. Through our power we have sought to benefit others. That both Nations kept to the policy leading to this most happy event is due to the fact that both Nations have the deepest respect for the inalienable rights of man. These rights were specifically championed more than a century and a half ago in our own Declaration of Independence. And again they have been championed in the new Constitution of the Philippine Commonwealth, a Constitution which I would like to have read and learned in every school and college of the United States. There can be no true national life either within a Nation itself, or between that Nation and other Nations, unless there be the specific acknowledgment of, and the support of organic law to, the rights of man. Supreme among those rights we, and now the Philippine Commonwealth, hold to be the rights of freedom of education and freedom of religious worship. This university from which we send our welcome to the new Commonwealth exemplifies the principles of which I speak. Through the history of this great Middle West--its first explorers and first missionaries – Joliet, Marquette, La Salle, Hennepin – its lone eagle, Father Badin, who is buried here – its apostolic Father Sorin, founder of the University of Notre Dame – its zealous missionaries of other faiths – its pioneers of varied nationalities-all have contributed to the upbuilding of our country because all have subscribed to those fundamental principles of freedom-freedom of education, freedom of worship. Long ago, George Mason, in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, voiced what has become one of the deepest convictions of the American people: ‘Religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience.' In the conflict of policies and of political systems which the world today witnesses, the United States has held forth for its own guidance, and for the guidance of other Nations if they will accept it, this great torch of liberty of human thought, liberty of human conscience. We will never lower it. We will never permit, if we can help it, the light to grow dim. Rather through every means legitimately within our power and our office, we will seek to increase that light, that its rays may extend the farther; that its glory may be seen even from afar. Every vindication of the sanctity of these rights at home, every prayer that other Nations may accept them, is an indication of how virile, how living, how permanent they are in the hearts of every true American. Of their own initiative, by their own appreciation, the people of the Philippine Commonwealth have now also championed them before all the world. Through the favor of Divine Providence may they be blessed as a people with prosperity. May they grow in grace through their own Constitution to the peace and well-being of the whole world. Let me say, as I leave you, that I am happy to be here today, that I am proud of the great distinction which you have conferred upon me, that I was more touched than anything else by the little word of the President of Notre Dame when he said that I will be in your prayers. I appreciate that. I trust that I may be in your prayers." The person from whom this wonderful and rare signed FDR Special Convocation program was obtained, wrote: "Tuesday, December 7, 2004/ Dear Dr. Plaud:/ My mother, Mrs. Betty Mulva, widow of Garrett Mulva, was cleaning out some of the files left by her husband and came across the signed program, December 2004./ Mr. Mulva died in 2001 but all his documents had not been sorted until recently. Mr. Mulva was a saver of every important document he ever received or sent. Consequently there were many files and briefcases full of documents to sort through./ Garrett was involved throughout his adult life in many aspects of politics. He campaigned for local and state politicians in his home state of Milwaukee, WI. for many years./ Knowing him as I did, I am convinced that he was the one who attended the Special Convocation for President Roosevelt and Carlos Romula and collected the President's signature./ It is ironic also that Garrett enlisted in the army in 1941 and was involved in the Philippine Liberation as shown in his enlistment record and report of separation from the army./ Permission is given for the FDR Museum to use any or all of the information in the display of the item in your collection gallery./ Janice Corvese [signed]." A truly fabulous and one of a kind signed program booklet honoring the new Commonwealth of the Philippines before World War II, a special event in which FDR himself was honored with an honorary doctorate from a prominent Catholic university, signifying FDR's close ties with the American Catholic Church and His Eminence George Cardinal Mundelein of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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