Friday, January 28, 2011

Visit to Warm Springs and the Little White House

 Cindy´s Mom at the Little White House, where FDR stayed during his visits for physical therapy 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt began spending time in Warm Springs, Ga., in 1924 to receive therapy from the mineral springs. Much of the excellent 2005 television movie Warm Springs, with Kenneth Branagh as FDR and Cynthia Nixon as Eleanor, was shot here.

Roosevelt was 39 when he contracted an illness that crippled him from the waist down. For many years, polio was blamed, but today scientists think he might have been stricken with Guillain-Barré syndrome.  

The movie tells how his experiences in Warm Springs strengthened and deepened his character, preparing him to campaign for governor of New York and president of the United States. The State of Georgia maintains the home and museum.
Warm Springs is about 90 miles south of us.

FDR liked to zip around town in this 1938 Ford Roadster equipped with hand controls
One of his wheelchairs and leg braces, which he had painted black to be inconspicuous

A family tree at the museum showed that First Lady Eleanor´s maiden name was Roosevelt as well.  She and Franklin were fifth cousins, once removed, and Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin's fifth cousin, was her uncle. Fifth cousins are six generations removed from their common ancestors. They have the same great-great-great-great-grandparents. Eleanor was one generation removed from being a fifth cousin.

Much of the house had a nautical theme. FDR loved sailing.
The bedrooms and furnishings in Roosevelt's home were very simple. The bathroom's spartan sink, tub and commode would not come close to the design standards of Better Homes and Gardens.

One of the best parts of the museum was the recordings of his speeches, including his 1932 Inauguration Address: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Still good words to live by.

Roosevelt harnessed the power of the new medium of radio to galvanize the people with his "fireside chats." During his 12-year presidency, he mobilized the country to confront the two biggest crises of the century, the Great Depression and World War II.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:04 PM

    FDR's car is a DeLuxe Convertible Sedan - it has roll-up glass windows and a rear seat. A roadster has no glass side windows (only fabric curtains) and no rear seat (although it may have a rumble seat). The last Ford roadster was the 1937 model.