Near the quiet town of Warm Springs, Georgia, is a quite wonderful museum and home to visit if you are in the area. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, was the victim of crippling polio before he was elected as head of the country. He was so determined and brave that he hardly let his wheelchair or crutches hold him back from being a powerful force in the world to whom we are still indebted.
With modern medicines and the Polio Vaccine in the future and unavailable to FDR, he sought relief for his pain and something to stimulate his paralyzed muscles. When he discovered the comfort of the Warm Springs in Georgia he determined to return often and to encourage others with the same affliction to do so. He used the wonderful warm pools over forty times to ease his discomfort. He was able to move and do exercises in the water which he could not do on land. When others got into the pool also he played with the children and teens and interacted with everyone as if he were their equal. The museum has videos of him tossing a ball to kids and laughing with everyone in good-natured fun.
Because he returned to Georgia often, FRD had his Little White House built there. It is a modest home and today stands behind the excellent museum which features his possessions, his crutches and wheelchair. The house is preserved just as he enjoyed it with the cozy den, his books, the bed he slept in and much more.
The grounds are lovely and peaceful beneath huge trees. A special pathway is bordered by a flag and a stone from each of the 48 states of which he was President. There are gifts from friends and other leaders including a large collection of unique walking canes. We stopped in the Guest House to see the Unfinished Portrait. While he was sitting for this painting he had a heart attack, and then quickly died on his bed nearby.
Franklin Roosevelt is most remembered for the New Deal which he put in to give a Hand Up instead of a Hand Out to the starving people of America during the Great Depression. Part of the New Deal was the Works Projects Administration, whereby young people were employed to build many of the roads, bridges, schools, hospitals. Much of the infrastructure of the USA was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was to promote environmental conservation and to build good citizens. They planted thousands of trees, dug canals, tunnels, stocked rivers and lakes, constructed thousands of fire shelters, cleared beaches, and restored historic sites, and built lodges of our National Parks and other parks throughout the country. Thousands of unskilled men and women were trained and employed by the government, preventing thousands of families from starving to death during those grim years. Every American citizen should visit a National Park near them to appreciate the beautiful rock walls, bridges, roads, tunnels built then. In the lodges the curtains, bedspreads, and many accoutrements including paintings and other art were made by untrained men and women who learned on the job and created beautiful décor which is still proudly and beautifully displayed.
Since we are now senior citizens we could fully appreciate the fact that FDR was also responsible for starting Social Security so that the elderly of our country could benefit from their working years in this mandatory savings plan.