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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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University Museum will host a Chautauqua presentation

The New Mexico State University Museum and the Historical Society of New Mexico will host a Chautauqua presentation titled "The Impact of the New Deal on the United States and New Mexico" at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Kent Hall Patio.

A Chautauqua presentation brings history to life with a performance by a scholar posing as a historical figure. Richard Marold, an experienced Chautauquan, will perform as Franklin D. Roosevelt. He has appeared as Roosevelt more than 100 times since 2002 and has performed for groups around the U.S.

During his presentation, Marold will discuss issues Roosevelt faced and the impact of the New Deal on the U.S. and New Mexico, specifically Las Cruces. He also will answer questions in character.

The Chautauqua presentation is part of a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the New Deal. Two exhibitions, "New Deal Crafts: Spanish Colonial Revival" and "Waste Not, Want Not: Great Depression Living," opened earlier in March as part of the celebration.

"There is so much New Mexico got from the New Deal," said Terry Reynolds, curator of collections and exhibits.

Reynolds said it is important to understand who Roosevelt was as a man and a president and know what he did for the country.

"When F.D.R. was inaugurated, 5,000 banks had failed, a quarter of the population was out of work and production in the U.S. was cut in half," Reynolds said. "He came in at a very hard time."

Reynolds said that while Roosevelt wasn't perfect and there were problems with his programs and policies, Roosevelt saved democracy in the U.S.

"Look at other countries during the same time," Reynolds said. "Many fell to dictatorships or fascism. Roosevelt was a great leader and he saved democracy."

The presentation is part of Marold's six-city tour in New Mexico sponsored by the New Mexico Historical Society and funded in part by the New Mexico Humanities Council. The tour was specially designed for New Mexico and presentations will be tailored for each stop.

Reynolds encourages everyone to come to this presentation. There is no fee to attend and sign up isn't required.

The University Museum is located at Kent Hall, at University Avenue and Solano Drive.

For more information call (575) 646-4056 or visit nmhum.org.