Professor Finds Rare Footage of FDR in Wheelchair

Today, it is no secret that Franklin Delano Roosevelt used a wheelchair. But it was not always so.

Professor Ray Begovich, who teaches journalism at Franklin College in Indiana, has discovered rare film footage showing FDR in his wheelchair. Begovich was reviewing the footage as part of a project researching Elmer Davis, director of the Office of War Information and a Franklin College graduate.

Most people today are familiar with Roosevelt's disability, but there's something quite powerful about seeing the powerful president fulfilling his duties while using his chair. I appreciate Dr. Begovich's words on the subject:

To me, the importance of this clip as historic media imagery, is that it reminds all of us that this president fought the Great Depression and World War II from a wheelchair. I think it's a tragedy that we haven't had many candidates for national office who use a wheelchair or guide dog or sign language. Media images matter, and I hope we can move toward a time in which policies, character and leadership become the focus of the media and public, and that the fact that a presidential candidate uses a wheelchair doesn't matter at all.

You can see the footage and the college's press release at this link.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus