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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Whistle Stop: 1936

Whistle Stop: 1936

August 1936. "Tour of drought area. President Roosevelt speaking from train at Bismarck, North Dakota." Medium format nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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Google Him

It's plainly Franklin Jr. and not James.

[Indeed. Three examples. - tterrace]

Family support

Although James was reported to be the one with his father, this certainly looks more like Franklin, Jr., who had just celebrated his 22nd birthday 10 days before. Not visible in the photo but also on the rear platform of the train was FDR's daughter, Anna. At right is ND Governor Walter Welford. Film footage of the event is here.

Indiscreet then but history now

A long gone friend of my Father, Dr.Howard Rosenthall, somehow managed to film FDR in his actual physical state being helped from his limo during a visit to Vassar College. At the time this was NOT the correct thing to do; but, I am told, his film ended up at the Roosevelt Library were it is kept as a historical item.

"1936, You call this a drought?

wait for the next two years."

Lean on me

FDR is gripping the arm of what I believe to be his son James. Roosevelt was completely paralyzed below the waist and had to use other people to help create the illusion of his being able to stand and walk. Great care was made to foster this illusion and the press generally went along with it. To this day there are no more than a handful of photographs of FDR in a wheelchair or that show his leg braces.

This is one reason so many photos of him were taken on the back of trains, where he could grip the railing, or in open cars where he didn't need to be seen moving under his own power. In fact whenever he was expected to deliver an outdoor speech other than from a rail car the Secret Service would build wooden ramps on the speaking platform so his car could drive right up onto the stage behind all of the dignitaries. who served to mask FDR from the crowds and cameras. Then they would pick him up from his car and stand him up with his leg braces and more or less carry him, one man on each side, to the speaking podium. Roosevelt would swing his arms and it appeared to all but those right next to him that he was walking.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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