Learn About FDR’s Arsenal for Democracy Feb. 15

Feb 06, 2019

In honor of the upcoming Presidents Day holiday, the Friends of the Stafford Branch of the Ocean County Library monthly adventure program will present “FDR: An Arsenal for Democracy” on Friday, Feb. 15, at 10:30 a.m. The presentation is a N.J. Council for the Humanities Grant Public Scholars Project program.

Neill Hartley, a first-person interpreter, will portray Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he prepares to give his “Arsenal for Democracy” speech, which was given on Dec. 29, 1940. He has just been re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office. But the world is in a crisis, as Nazi Germany has blazed the path of destruction across Europe, and America may soon be drawn into war.

In the speech, Roosevelt promised to help the United Kingdom fight Nazi Germany by giving the UK military supplies while the United States stayed out of the actual fighting. The president announced that intent a year before the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, which thrust the United States into the global conflict.

An actor, director and educator, Hartley is assistant professor of voice and speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and has acted as a speech/dialect coach for several professional theater productions. He holds an MFA in acting from Temple University.

To register for the program, call the branch at 609-597-3381. E.E.

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