A Few Facts You May Not Know About Franklin D. Roosevelt

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.

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"Even his greatest detractors will admit that FDR was a truly great speaker". You would be too if you had Michael Straight writing for you. A KGB agent ( CHEKA) recruited in the 1930's he was IN the White House. This from Wikipedia: While a student at Cambridge University in the mid-1930s, Straight became a Communist Party member and a part of an intellectual secret society known as the Cambridge Apostles. Straight worked for the Soviet Union as part of a spy ring whose members included Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, and KGB recruiter Anthony Blunt.[1] A document from Soviet archives of a report Blunt made in 1943 to the KGB states, "As you already know the actual recruits whom I took were Michael Straight".[citation needed]
After returning to the United States in 1937, Straight worked as a speechwriter for President Franklin Roosevelt and was on the payroll of the Department of the Interior. Beginning in 1938, Straight carried on a covert relationship with Iskhak Akhmerov, the KGB spy. In 1940, Straight went to work in the Eastern Division of the U.S. State Department.

Now you know why McCarthy did not trust the State Department. The Democratic Party back then has oddly been covered by the politics of the of the Party today. You would never know they backed lynching, segregation, blocking blacks from government jobs, the KKK. FDR came to prominence by limiting the number of Jews that could become lawyers. He refused ships of Jewish refugees and sent them back to Germany. He threw Paul Robeson out of the White House for asking that he back the Republican bill to make lynching a Federal crime. Did I mention Japanese Americans losing their jobs, homes and bank accounts to be moved out to camps in the desert!?!
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A word of wisdom - Do not condemn FDR in front of a WWII survivor. No matter their political leaning, FDR did no wrong. This is from personal experience. I questioned his policies in front of two conservatives from The Greatest Generation and it did not go well.
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Liberty is not diminished by economic stimulus. Capitalism is not diminished by economic stimulus. "Big Government" is a leading phrase, a dishonest rhetorical tactic inserting an opinion as something presupposed. Data based economics has showed the effectiveness of stimulus spending, but libertarians, like the Marxists they mirror, care much less about empirical reality than their perfect ideology, and ignore the facts when they contradicts their ideology. It is a comforting delusion to imagine one has all the answers a priori.
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I'm afraid the political divide is too great, though I truly applaud your effort to engage thoughtfully. As long as Liberty and Capitalism are regarded as the Enemy (and unfortunately, they are), and Big Government as "our friend," the masses will continue to swallow falsehoods such as (for instance) "A big infusion of stimulus funds the next year put the recovery back on track"---whether the stimulus took place during the Great Depression, or the final months of George W., or the first two years of the Obama administration.
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