I’ve had these pictures of Governor Franklin Roosevelt and Rear Admiral Richard Byrd on the steps of the Capitol in Albany for the longest time, trying to figure out just what was going on. I finally found out, not from the pages of a local newspaper, but from a wire story that appeared in The Milwaukee Sentinel on June 25, 1930:
Governor Confers Medal for N.Y. State
Received by tumultuous thousands as wildly enthusiastic as any crowds yet to hail him, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd came to the state capital Tuesday to receive the distinguished service medal of the state of New York and to renew his friendship with Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Coming from New York City in a navy destroyer with members of his south pole expedition and his wife and mother, the admiral was landed on a shore black with admirers who broke through all police restraint and trampled about the waiting automobiles in wild efforts to seize the explorer’s hand. The official party crept at last to Capital park and the steps where the governor awaited.
In brief talks Gov. Roosevelt and Admiral Byrd recalled their long friendship, dating from the time years ago when the young navy officer used to drop into the office of the assistant secretary of the navy to discuss his hopes of exploring the skies of the world’s ends.
Then the admiral introduced several members of his expedition to the crowd. He accepted the state medal “in the name of my men who did the things for which you are honoring me.”
After the speeches the admiral was escorted to the executive mansion, where he and other members of his party had been invited for dinner. They planned to remain over night and return to New York in the morning.