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International Program Promotes FDR’s Legacy

CONTACT: Ranger David Burke, Roosevelt's Little White House
706.655.5870, 706.655.5872, david_burke@dnr.state.ga.us

WARM SPRINGS, GA., June 13, 2005 - Warm Springs and Rangers at Roosevelt’s Little White House had two very special visitors spend two weeks in our community working side by side with us learning about the Georgia side of FDR. This is a continuation of the Ranger Exchange Program where Park Rangers from Roosevelt Campobello International Park and Hyde Park National Historic Site swap their jobs to work at FDR’s Little White House. Carolyn Newman and Nancy Brown were chosen by their administrators to participate this year. Later this year, one of our Rangers will travel to Campobello to work at FDR’s vacation home for two weeks in order to gain greater knowledge of our sister sites. Campobello is operated jointly by the Canadian and US governments and is located in New Brunswick not far from Maine. It was in 1921 while on vacation there that Roosevelt came down with polio. This event changed his life forever and little did he know that Warm Springs lay in is future. Three years later when he came to Warm Springs for the first time, he thought that he might find a cure for polio here. Although he did not find the cure, he did find a way to become more independent. He also went on to purchase the springs, return to politics, begin fundraising for the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and that gave birth to the March of Dimes. From there, we received a preventative for polio and just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Salk vaccine. That is the kind of story these Rangers can take back to Campobello and when a tourist visiting their site asks about Warm Springs, they will be able to give a first hand account of what it is like here.

While here, the ladies were treated to the Warm Springs experience of Southern Hospitality while dining on turnip green, collards, fried chicken, sweet potatoes, fried green tomatoes and such. One highlight was visiting “all of the Walmarts nearby” in the evenings while driving the countryside.

They were fortunate enough to see three of our programs including Memorial Day, Remembering D-Day and Rosie the Riveter. During the programs, they met with local veterans Robert Allen, Jack Claxton and Marion Dunn all of whom served in the Second World War and were guests of honor. They watched Carol Cain put on her one-person show of seven women working as Rosies during the war. Although these ladies will take a lifetime of memories home, it is the visitors who will gain the most as they share their stories of Warm Springs, Georgia with the rest of the world.


April 12, 2005, is the 60th anniversary of President F.D. Roosevelt’s death and the 50th anniversary of the Salk vaccine’s discovery
 
WARM SPRINGS, GA., March 24, 2005 - This April 12th marks the anniversary of two life-changing events in world history: the day that President F.D. Roosevelt died in 1945 and the 1955 announcement of the Salk vaccine’s ability to prevent polio. In recognition of these two events, Dr. Hamid Jafari, Director of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Global Immunization Division, will speak at Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site during its annual ceremony commemorating the president’s death. The April 12 program begins at 2 p.m. and includes music from the Ft. Benning Infantry Center Band and United States Marine Corps color guard. Admission is free after 12:30 p.m.
 
Stricken with polio in 1921, FDR came to Georgia seeking therapy in the naturally warm spring waters. After being elected President of the United States in 1932, he continued to visit his Warm Springs home, befriending many other polio patients and his rural neighbors. In 1938 FDR established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which later became known as the March of Dimes and funded Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio virus research. On April 12, 1945, the president suffered a stroke while having his portrait painted at his middle Georgia home. Ten years later to the very day, the Salk vaccine was announced as “safe and effective.”
 
A few years ago, most public health officials hoped that polio was on the verge of being eradicated from the globe. However, the crippling disease appears to be making a comeback in parts of Africa due to a lack of education and funding.
 
"Global polio eradication will be a fitting legacy of President Roosevelt and Dr. Salk, two extraordinary men whose efforts were so vital to the development of a polio vaccine,” said Dr.Jafari.
 
During last year’s April 12 event, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources unveiled its new 11,000-square-foot museum honoring President F.D. Roosevelt. Nestled into the wooded estate that is the Little White House State Historic Site, the museum chronicles Roosevelt's life, his personal struggle with polio, his role in America's recovery from the Great Depression, and his leadership during World War II. Key exhibits include his hand-controlled 1938 Ford convertible, “Fireside Chats” playing on a 1930s radio, FDR’s stagecoach used during parades, a film narrated by Walter Cronkite, and the naturally warm spring water that first brought Roosevelt to Georgia. Visitors can tour FDR’s charming cottage, the guest house and servants’ quarters left much as they were the day he suffered a stroke while posing for the “Unfinished Portrait” now displayed in the museum. Just one mile from the museum is the historic pools complex where Roosevelt and other polio patients swam for therapy.
 
The Little White House draws more than 110,000 visitors annually, more than any other Georgia state historic site. It is located 1⁄4 mile south of Warm Springs on Hwy. 85-Alt-Hwy. 27 Alt.


Donation Increases Little White House Library Size

Warm Springs, Georgia, January 22, 2005 – 2004 was a banner year for FDR's Little White House Historic site with the opening of the new FDR Memorial Museum, numerous awards were received and films from HBO and the History Channel were produced there. The year 2005 was also exciting. Noted scholar and Roosevelt historian, Dr. John McHugh, of Allentown, PA generously donated his extensive compilation of books and reference papers to the Little White House. His voluminous collection, entitled “Rooseveltania” by Dr. McHugh, began when McHugh was a youngster. Excited by the legacy FDR was leaving upon the nation, he began collecting newspaper clippings, as many Americans did, and placing them in scrapbooks. Over the decades his collection of books, letters and papers grew to contain over 3000 documents and over 600 books and numerous archival materials. When he decided to donate his materials to the Little White House, we became naturally excited and when the eighteen-wheel truck pulled up and unloaded the numerous boxes, we were stunned at the extent and size of the collection. Currently the staff is entering the items into our database. This will be used for future research, employee training and other educational opportunities in an effort to keep Roosevelt’s Little White House Georgia’s most visited State Historic Site.

 

Media Contacts:

Kim Hatcher, Public Affairs Coordinator, Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites: 404-657-9855, email: kimh@dnr.state.ga.us

Mary Thrash, Assistant Manager, Little White House: 706-655-5870, email: mary_thrash@dnr.state.ga.us




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