Rare Footage Shows 'Brave Struggle' of FDR Walking

Friday, 16 May 2014 12:49 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Rare film footage featuring President Franklin D. Roosevelt walking to his seat at a baseball game helps dispel the myth that he completely hid his disability and shows the courage it took to go about his daily life, experts said Friday.

The clip shows FDR, who was paralyzed from the waist down by polio in 1921, grasping a rail with one hand while being supported on the other side by an assistant. FDR used a wheelchair because he could walk only with braces on his legs and the support of a cane.

"Here is FDR going to a stadium full of people," said Bob Clark, deputy director of FDR's Presidential Library and Museum. "Even the simple act of going to a baseball game required a great deal of logistics and preparation."

Former Major League Baseball player Jimmie DeShong shot the film at the 1937 All-Star game in Washington. On Thursday, the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg announced it had acquired the clip from the family of DeShong, a native of the state's capital city.

Relatives allowed the footage to be used in an exhibit at the FDR library in Hyde Park, New York, where it has been on view for about a year as part of a montage, Clark said.

Filmmaker Ken Burns calls the footage "one of the very best pieces of film that so clearly shows what a brave struggle it was for FDR to move." Burns plans to incorporate it into his upcoming documentary on the Roosevelts, which is slated to air on PBS this fall.

The footage is rare in part because not many people had personal movie cameras in those days. The press generally did not film FDR struggling to move under his own power, as the Secret Service did not want to publicize the president's vulnerability, experts said.

While the lack of historical imagery gives the impression that Roosevelt actively concealed his paralysis, in reality he tried simply to minimize it to make the public more comfortable, said Clark.

The FDR snippet is about eight seconds of DeShong's silent footage, which overall is nearly three minutes long.

The rest of the film, shot with an 8 millimeter camera at Griffith Stadium, features a slew of baseball players, including Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg and Dizzy Dean.


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Gov. McAuliffe Isn't Talking, but in 2007 Said 'Shut Borders Down'

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 21:16 PM

I arrived at the lobby on the floor of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office at 7:55 a.m., intent on waiting until I ha . . .

Ted Cruz on 'True Blood': Vampire Vote Belongs to Democrats

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 20:51 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz took to social media Tuesday with his take on an HBO "True Blood" episode depicting a bloodbath at a ficti . . .

School's Diversity Policy and Prof's Disdain for It Cause Debate

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 20:13 PM

A new diversity policy at the University of Wisconsin in Madison – and an economics professor's open disdain for it – ar . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved