On March 29, 1945, FDR left the White House for the last time on a trip to Warm Springs, Georgia. He had first visited Warm Springs in the mid-1920s after hearing that the waters there had healing powers. He hoped they would help him regain the use of his legs which were left paralyzed from a polio attack in 1921.
In 1926, FDR bought and renovated the old resort at Warm Springs, turning it into a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center for polio patients. Throughout his time as Governor of New York and President, FDR continued vacationing at Warm Springs. The cottage where he stayed became known as the “Little White House,” thanks to his frequent visits as president.
It was here that FDR went in April 1945 to rest and rejuvenate following the pressures of the 1944 campaign, the Yalta Conference, and the continued war effort. On April 12, 1945, while sitting for a portrait by painter Elizabeth Shoumatoff, FDR suffered a massive stroke. He died a few hours later having never regained consciousness.
The President’s body was transported by train to Washington D.C. and then on to his estate in Hyde Park for burial. Thousands of mourners lined the tracks to say goodbye.
The White House appointment diaries for April 12, 1945 are available on our Franklin D. Roosevelt Day by Day website.
3 thoughts on “Franklin D. Roosevelt Day by Day – April”
What did FDR do in April of 1933? Here are just a very few of the important things FDR did in April 1933:
On April 5, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6101 starting the Civilian Conservation Corps
On April 5, 1933, FDR issued Executive Order 6102 forbidding the hording of gold coin, gold bullion and gold
On April 10, 1933, FDR proposed to Congress the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority
(Please note there is some disagreement on the Internet about exact dates, but these dates look correct.)
Please also know that FDR had had a very busy March 1933 and had begun the day after his inauguration implementing policies to relieve the suffering and fears of the American people.
FDR was inaugurated on March 4, 1933 and began the very next day to work aggressively and creatively on our behalf.
April 12, 1945, a sad day for America and the whole
world. With today’s advanced health care, President Roosevelt, though 63 at the time, could have enjoyed numerous additional years of life. I was born later in that year and 63 years later when I was 63, I visited Hyde Park and paid my respects. I realized at that time, how little I knew about FDR, so I began to educate myself. After many books and documentaries, some favorable and some not so favorable, I am convinced that any faults he may have had and any serious political errors he may have committed are totally overshadowed by his massive contribution to American life and World peace.
FDR was not a passive victim of polio; he used his creativity and his wealth to make Warm Springs a place of healing.
He invented a new kind of crutch, he hired doctors skilled in the treatment of polio victims, he worked out techniques for rehabilitating the limbs of the”polios” (as he called them), he never gave up on believing he would walk again and never gave up on seeking a cure for his legs.
But most of all, FDR brought polio victims out from the back rooms, where ashamed families often kept them, and out into the bright light of day. Whenever he stayed at Warm Springs, he exercised with and often played with the other “polios” — making them feel that it was possible to be a “polio” and still enjoy one’s life.
FDR’s March of Dimes program to provide funding for polio research subsidized Jonas Salk’s research work, and that led to the Salk vaccine and a halt to polio epidemics.
FDR was a remarkable man in so very many ways.
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