Wendell Willkie Plaque at the New York Public Library
You may know that I’m a sucker for historical plaques and monuments and the like. No difference here. I’ve probably walked by it a million times and I remember seeing it at points but it never really registered. After all, Wendell Willkie isn’t a name that one hears too often nowadays.
And on perhaps the most nondescript part of the outside of the NYPL, there’s a plaque to this former lawyer and presidential candidate.
It reads: “Wendell Willkie 1892-1944 I believe in America because in it we are free – free to choose our government to speak our minds to observe our different religions.”
Willkie ran for president in 1940 and one of the goals of that election was to stop Roosevelt from breaking the implied two-term limit on the presidency. He failed and FDR went on to a third and a fourth term.
Oddly enough, Roosevelt outlived Willkie. Willkie died in 1944, before his term would have expired.
Willkie spent a number of years living in NYC, but I have no idea of any links between him and the Library.