“Forgotten Hollywood”- Rare FDR Film Footage Found…

Posted on July 10, 2013 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… Franklin D. Roosevelt in wheelchair (photo by Margaret Suckley)

    A working scholar at an Indiana college has found movie footage showing President Franklin Roosevelt being pushed in his wheelchair, a secret hidden from the public until after his passing. Ray Begovich, a journalism professor at Franklin College, south of Indianapolis, said Tuesday that he found the brief clip while doing unrelated research in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The National Archives and the FDR Presidential Museum and Library couldn’t say  for certain if other comparable footage exists, but both feel it’s at least rare. Photo use by permission of FDR Library

The clip shows Roosevelt visiting the USS Baltimore at Pearl Harbor in July 1944. Eight seconds of the film show the chief executive exiting a doorway on the ship, and being escorted down a likely ramp. The use of the wheelchair is not clearly visible because the view of the president is partially blocked by a row of sailors.

   Although Roosevelt’s disability was virtually a state secret during his presidency, which spanned the Great Depression and most of World War II, it has become an inspiration to advocates who successfully pushed for a statue of him in his wheelchair to be added to the Roosevelt Memorial in Washington D.C. During his four terms, he often used a wheelchair in private, but not for public appearances. News photo journalists cooperated in concealing his disability. Those who did not found their camera views blocked by Secret Service agents, according to the FDR Library website.

   Roosevelt’s longstanding clandestine intentions regarding his affliction will be profiled in our Lionel Barrymore documentary. I plan on contacting the National Archives to use the film clip. I believe this footage is an essential piece that should be part of our upcoming screen story.

   Bulletins as they break!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 at 12:44 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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