May 11, 2013
CANADA AND US AGREED TO SHARE OWNERSHIP OF FDR'S CAMPOBELLO COTTAGE 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
Hyannis, Massachusetts (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy and Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson*, meeting here in Hyannis on May 11, 1963, agreed to accept an offer of donation of the FDR cottage and grounds located on Campbello Island** to their respective countries.
The offer was made by Dr. Armand Hammer of Los Angeles, California and his brothers Harry and Victor who acquired the property in 1952.
In a joint statement released by JFK and PM Pearson, the cottage and 29 acres of land was "to be used for public purposes which would appropriately commemorate" President Franklin D. Roosevelt who was described as "a good friend of Canada."
FDR on Campobello Island
June 16, 1933
FDR Library/NARA Image
The Roosevelt family had a summer home at Campobello dating back to 1883. It was there that FDR was stricken with polio in 1921. In 1939, FDR acquired the 34 room cottage which he used as a summer retreat.
JFK and PM Pearson accepted the offer of the Hammers after consulting with Premier Robichaud of New Brunswick.
The Roosevelt Campobello International Park was established by an agreement signed on January 22, 1964 by LBJ and PM Pearson.
*Lester Pearson (1897-1972) was born in Toronto and graduated from Hamilton Collegiate Institute, the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford. In 1957, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his help in settling the Suez Crisis. He served as Prime Minister of Canada from April 1963 to April 1968.
Lester Pearson Statue
Parliament Hill (2010)
Photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson
**Campobello Island, part of New Brunswick, is connected by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Bridge with Lubec, Maine (at the Easternmost tip of the United States).
The island, which is located at the entrance of Passamaquoddy Bay (named after the Native American tribe which first settled here), is 8.7 miles long and 3.1 miles wide. Its population in 2011 was 925.
Lighthouse on Campobello Island
Photo by Skeezix1000
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