Monday, July 15, 2013

FDR Footage in a wheelchair

This is an interview with the man who found rare footage of FDR in a wheelchair. Here's some information on the find:
When did you find this clip?
I think it was 2009 or 2010, and I have only been able to work on this in fits and starts, in little chunks. I needed to find documentation about this trip so I could better understand what I was seeing and what I was talking about. I needed to find still photos of this trip so I could confirm what the president was wearing that day, and if indeed this was the president in the shot. So I wasn't going to jump to any conclusions. I also showed it to a number of colleagues to ask their opinion, and I consider myself very fortunate to have great research librarians here who have scoured the Internet for any trace of any other film footage of FDR in a wheelchair. Between teaching full time and having a family and working on other research projects, I finally found the time this summer to work on this and get it out to the public.

What is that process like? Did you decide, “Okay, I'm going to release this to the AP”?
That's exactly what I did. I asked myself, “How do we make this as accessible as possible to the public?” I've been a PR professional for a long time, and I teach public relations, and still to this day the AP is the number one news-gathering and reporting organization in the United States. I could have done a lot of different things with this – a scholarly paper, a book, or a presentation -- but I'm not a Roosevelt scholar. That's not my area. I just wanted the public to know about the footage. So we called the Associated Press and they were interested enough to do their own digging and report on this discovery.

You can find the footage in the article as well.

1 comment:

John C Gregory said...

We can readily acknowledge how the polio did not affect FDR's presidential leadership ability. Still, we may wince, even today, if we saw a president being lowered off of Marine One, then pushed across the South Lawn by a spouse or an aide. Image is even more a factor now than it was then.