Travel to FDR’s home and library during an eventful political season

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HYDE PARK, N.Y. - History is resonating during this political season.

FDR3"There’s a heightened interest right now, of course, because of the presidential campaign. Roosevelt ran and was elected four times. No president will ever be able to say that again," explains Paul Sparrow of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

America's first presidential library -- which has 12,000 square feet of vibrant space -- is celebrating it's 75th anniversary in June. It shares the story of two of the most important periods in this country's past: the Great Depression and World War II.

"Almost every aspect of our lives today was formed by the Roosevelts during that period -- social security, pension benefits, minimum wage," says Sparrow, noting that the museum also addresses the critics. "FDR has been criticized for the Japanese internment, we have a whole section on it. He was criticized for his handling of the refugee crisis prior to World War II."

A large section of the museum is dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt, a humanitarian and activist who revolutionized the role of first lady.

Visitors can walk a short distance from this public space to see the private world of a president  FDR's home, Springwood, hosts frequent tours. IFDR1

"FDR loved Hyde Park," says Scott Rector of the National Park Service. "This is where his heart was."

Visitors view the family room where he relaxed with Eleanor and the children; see the suite of rooms where the king and queen of England stayed during a visit in 1939; the spot where FDR was born; and the master bedroom, where a phone attached to a wall was a direct line to the White House.

Nearby, folks can see a home that belonged to Eleanor Roosevelt called Val-Kill, also a National Historic Site.

Dutchess County, where the FDR complex is located, is just over the Connecticut border.

"We’re right in your backyard," says Mary Kay Vrba of Dutchess Tourism. "You can do it all here. You can hike, you can be in the outdoors. There's culture, culinary foods and history."

Check out this link to plan a visit to the FDR Presidential Library and Museum and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt which offer an $18 joint-admission ticket.