Man wants Roosevelt visit officially recognized

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Seventy-one years ago today, Kingston hosted U. S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Arthur Milnes, a fellow with the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University, wants you to know why it matters.

"It's probably the most significant speech ever given by a politician in Canada," Milnes said.

To commemorate it, Milnes says he would like to see the cities of Kingston and Watertown, N. Y., work together to celebrate it annually.

"It would be great if the two cities worked together to celebrate this moment in history," he said. "I don't just mean the municipal governments, but the universities and the local newspapers. I'd like to see Aug. 18 (celebrated as) Franklin Roosevelt-Mackenzie King Friendship Day."

Milnes said he believes that due to Kingston's close proximity to the American border, residents should take it upon themselves to learn from each other.

"I would like to have this bring Watertown and Kingston closer together," he said.

Milnes, who has edited a book on the visit, In Roosevelt's Bright Shadow, said the visit, during which the American president received an honorary degree from Queen's University, marked a landmark moment in the development of Canada-US relations.

"It was much more than a commencement address," he said. "That was when FDR promised that the United States would protect Canada if we ever were to be attacked.

"That's been the pillar of our national security policy ever since."...

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