Unseen Footage Shows President Franklin Roosevelt Walking In 1937

Pennsylvania State Archives has released never before seen footage of Franklin Delano Roosevelt walking up a ramp at a baseball game in 1937. It's an exceptionally rare glimpse of the U.S. president who did his best to hide his disability from the public.


The footage was captured by Jimmie DeShong at the 1937 MLB All-Star Game. Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett, along with a handful of baseball stars, can be seen in the film.

History News reports:

Pres. Roosevelt was paralyzed from the waist down by polio in 1921. In the film, he is walking up a ramp in Washington, D.C.'s Griffith Stadium. Pres. Roosevelt is wearing braces on his legs as he holds an assistant's arm and grasps a handrail to make it up the steps.

It is one of only two known extended film clips in existence showing Pres. Roosevelt walking. It is so rare, that filmmaker Ken Burns is using it in his upcoming documentary "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History"
 which will air on PBS beginning September 14, 2014.

"We were thrilled with the discovery of a new piece of film footage of Franklin Delano Roosevelt walking. Any film of him struggling to get from one place to another is extremely rare, as the Secret Service either prohibited or confiscated cameras whenever FDR was making an attempt to propel himself from his car to anywhere else," said Ken Burns. "The President wanted to minimize the public's knowledge of the devastating effects polio had had on him - he was completely paralyzed from the waist down and he could not walk without the aid of a cane and braces on both legs. The press in those days complied with his request not to be filmed."

The original film was restored by Florentine Films, the production company of Ken Burns.

Much more at History News.

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