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Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Disabled American President


One man took it upon himself to make his country feel at ease when the world was in crisis. Franklin D. Roosevelt is one of the greatest and most significant Presidents in American history; he managed to be great even though he was disabled. FDR held his country up when they felt desperate for hope during a hard time.

History of Franklin D. Roosevelt

Born January 30, 1882 to wealthy parents, FDR grew up in a privileged household, doted on by his mother as an only child. He would go on to serve millions of unemployed, struggling Americans.

In college, Franklin married Eleanor Roosevelt and began studying law at Columbia University. He soon was a father to five children and began living a comfortable life. However, he desired more opportunity to make a difference. In 1910, he won the New York State Senate, winning as a Democrat in a district that had voted Republican for the last 32 years.

Diagnosis of polio

Why was FDR in a wheelchair? In 1921, Franklin D. Roosevelt contracted polio, and it paralyzed his legs in a devastating way. He eventually accepted his diagnosis after learning there is no cure. Roosevelt established the March of Dimes program, which later funded a successful polio vaccine.

Acceptance of the disease

Roosevelt wasn’t going to allow the disease to take over his life and wanted to continue to live a full life. After all that he endured with his diagnosis, he didn’t let it show just how disabled he became. He taught himself how to take a few careful steps in his leg braces and was never really photographed or filmed in his wheelchair. Following the stock market crash of 1929, Roosevelt felt ready to take on the Great Depression and help America get back on its feet.

The Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt

In 1932, Roosevelt was elected President and immediately implemented economic reform called the New Deal. 13 million Americans became unemployed (25%) and the country was in crisis. He assured Americans: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” With the help of a great team, they created agencies that regulated the stock market and provided relief to the unemployed.

Fireside chats

FDR wanted to nurture his country and give them comfort and hope during the Great Depression. He started his first Fireside Chats just eight days after taking office. He wanted to give Americans access to hear his speeches and create a more intimate relationship with his people. He would broadcast them on the radio direct from the White House. He used this as a tactic to also gain support from Americans for his plans to get the country out of the Great Depression.

New Deal

Within his first 100 days of his presidency, FDR created the “New Deal” to address the Great Depression. He created several agencies to help employ Americans wherever he could. Some of the agencies regulated the stock market, insured bank deposits, and provided the relief the unemployed needed at the time.

End of the presidency

Well into his fourth term as president, FDR suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away. They believe the stress of the Great Depression and World War II had taken a toll on the health of this disabled President. Vice President, Harry S. Truman, was sworn into office following the passing of FDR. Many Americans were devastated when they found out their beloved President had passed away.

Helpful Disabled Care

At Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers, we want all of our disabled individuals to stay active. We provide various disabled care services to keep our disabled individuals lively and full of activities for them to participate in. Visit us today to see all the fun!