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Introduction
1)
Title
Wendell Willkie
2)
Town, State
New York, NY
3)
ID #
1191
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
July 16, 2001
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
December 12, 2010
6)
Site Worked Last
December 16, 2010
Description
Wendell Willkie is remembered admiringly in this memorial, in New York City. While the most popular chapter in his public story may have been his 1940 presidential run against Franklin Delano Roosevelt, unsuccessfully, Wendell Lewis Willkie’s more intriguing and enduring chapters, perhaps lost in the glare of politics-as-business, seem to have centered on international relations and national civil rights. A Hoosier born and bred, educated in law at Indiana University, Willkie, born 1892, also spent time in New York, where he made a mark in Wall Street’s financial canyons and organizational environs. He died young, 52, in New York, of a heart condition, though not before he was fortunate enough to have had the chance to travel the war-torn globe on behalf of his country, noting, reporting and writing about how small and -- to his eyes, despite the war -- interdependent the world was clearly becoming. • Sculptor Paul Fjelde created this low-relief, bronze work. Its inscription is from Willkie’s writing entitled “One World.” From Minneapolis and the son of a sculptor himself (Jacob Fjelde), Paul Fjelde was born in 1892 (like Willkie, though he outlived him by 40 years); he studied with Lorado Taft, in Chicago, and with other sculptors, in Europe. In addition to being student and artist, Fjelde taught other aspiring artists and wrote about the craft as editor of the “National Sculpture Review.” • This memorial was dedicated 13 years after Willkie’s death. Its unveiling and commemoration were led by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren on February 18, 1957. Also participating in this ceremony was New York Senator Jacob K. Javits. Additional messages from President Dwight Eisenhower and other New York elected officials were read. Participating too was the Rev. Dr. John Sutherland Bonnell, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, who had also presided over Willkie’s funeral. • The site of the memorial work, set in the wall of the New York Public Library on its West 40th Street side, near 5th Avenue, is directly across the street from the then-home of the memorial’s sponsor, Freedom House, at 20 West 40th Street (currently, the New York office is at 120 Wall Street). Founded in 1941, a privately funded organization, Freedom House promotes democracy and human rights around the world. A founding and key board member was Wendell Willkie.
Content
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1)
Individual|group/family recognition
2)
Outstanding/notable citizen/person
3)
Leader: National / Foreign
5)
Caucasian
6)
Not Applicable
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Integrated
3)
Tablet/Plaque
5)
Average (life-size)
7)
Inscribed/lettered directly
8)
Text available, all
9)
Yes (see below)
9.1)
Image numbering/location
2700-741.1, 2700-741.2, 2700-741.3
10)
Design Preservation
Under Consideration
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
No
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Fjelde, Paul
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Not Yet Determined
Setting
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1)
Walkway|Street
3)
Appearance/Setting
Completed
3.1)
Appeal of the Item
5 Good
3.2)
Setting appears appropriate
4 Satisfactory
3.3)
Traffic near for access, distanced for appreciation
4 Satisfactory
3.4)
Visualization and panorama
4 Satisfactory
3.5)
Opportunity to view, to enjoy the item
4 Satisfactory
3.6)
Overall Averaged Score
4.2 Satisfactory (Given a 1.0 - 7.0 Range)
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4)
Not Entered
5)
February 18, 1957
6)
Not Entered
7)
Not Entered
10)
Other Monuments on Site
1185 , 1186 , 1187 , 1188 , 1189 , 1190
11)
Satisfactory
12)
Local government
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
Bas Relief Works
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
The American Presidency
Demography
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1)
File Number
50A
2)
Town/City
New York
3)
County
New York
4)
District
Manhattan
5)
State
NY
6)
Zip
10036
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
40.7525560000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-73.9820410000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
West 40 St
11)
Intersecting Street 2
5th Ave
12)
Additional Identifier 1
New York Public Library
13)
Additional Identifier 2
15)
Man-made
16)
Educational entity
17)
1914-1945
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
July 16, 2001
19)
19.1)
Site Survey
19.2)
Website
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
December 12, 2010
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
21.1)
Newspaper
21.2)
Website
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
NAME: Wendell Lewis Willkie (b. 2/18/1892, d. 10/8/1944)
SPONSOR: Educational entity -- Freedom House, New York, NY, and Washington, DC
SOURCES/1: James H. Madison, “Willkie, Wendell Lewis,” American National Biography Online,” Feb 2000; Lorado Taft, History of American Sculpture; Parks & Recreation, City of NY -- Permanent Art and Monuments.
SOURCES/2: The following writings and notices about the memorial are from The New York Times, as indicated: February 19, 1957; February 18, 1957; February 18, 1957; November 7, 1926.
COMMENT: The dedicatory inscription includes the following, from Willkie's "One World": “I believe in America / because in it / we are free -- / Free to choose / our government / to speak our minds / to observe our different religions.”




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