Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook. This post is in honor of the 132nd anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt’s birth, which is today.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is one of the most beloved and iconic presidents in American history. The only U.S. president to be elected on four different occasions, FDR was at the helm during one of America's darkest periods- leading us through both the Great Depression and World War II.
Even his greatest detractors will admit that FDR was a truly great speaker. Perhaps only Ronald Reagan a few decades later was able to communicate his ideas and beliefs so well with the American public. Let's take a look at a few facts you may not have known about our 32nd U.S. president- Franklin D. Roosevelt.
* Born on January 30, 1882, FDR was nameless for the first seven weeks after his birth.
* When he was a boy, Theodore Roosevelt, his fifth cousin, advised him, “Don't ever grow up to be President."
* Genealogists have confirmed with certainty that Franklin Roosevelt was related to an astonishing eleven presidents: Washington, the two Adamses, Madison, Van Buren, the two Harrisons, Taylor, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft. and he was also related to Winston Churchill.
* FDR was a C student at Harvard.
* According to his wife, Eleanor, her husband was so busy as president that on occasion their sons had to make appointments to see them.
* What a difference a word makes. The original draft of FDR’s Pearl Harbor speech had “A day that will live in world history.” FDR crossed out "world history" and wrote in "infamy."
* No presidential pet was ever publicized more than FDR’s beloved pet Scotty, Fala. Fala was given to Roosevelt as a Christmas gift in 1940 by his cousin, Daisy. His original name was Big Boy, but Roosevelt changed it to Murray the Outlaw of Falahill. This was shortened to Fala. Fala frequently traveled with FDR and the president ordered that only he could ever feed his beloved dog. Fala was to outlive FDR by seven years, dying in 1952. He was buried alongside the president and a statue of him with FDR is featured in Washington DC’s Franklin Roosevelt Memorial. He is the only presidential pet so honored.
* There are 125,000 photos of Franklin Roosevelt in the FDR presidential library. Exactly two show him in a wheelchair. Yes, the press was much more accommodating of presidents' wishes in those days.
* FDR was afraid of the number thirteen. This is called triskaidekaphobia. He would invite his secretary to have dinner with him if the table would seat thirteen people without her. And he wouldn't leave for a trip on the thirteenth of the month under any circumstances.
* Frank Sinatra claimed that he named his son Frank Sinatra Jr. not after himself, but after FDR. Frank's full name is Franklin Wayne Emmanuel Sinatra.
* FDR’s favorite movie was I’m No Angel starring Mae West.
* When FDR was recovering from polio, he wrote a screenplay telling the story of Old Ironsides. It was never picked up.
* FDR had a stamp collection consisting of 25,000 stamps in forty albums. He specialized in stamps from the Western Hemisphere and Hong Kong. It sold for more than $200,000.00 after his death.
* FDR may have been the only U.S. president to have been photographed knitting, although it was probably a joke. Shortly after Franklin and Eleanor were married (in 1905), they posed for a photograph on the steps of FDR’s family estate in Hyde Park, New York. Eleanor was holding a cocktail glass and Franklin was knitting. Their expressions are totally serious (always the best indicator of a prank), and it is believed they were, in a sense, playfully "swapping" each other's main interests.
* FDR's last words were “I have a terrific headache.” The headache was a actually a cerebral hemorrhage. He died shortly thereafter.