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Epilogue to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Visits to Georgia


As Roosevelt’s train made its way through the southern states to Washington, countless numbers of people turned out to watch it pass. In Greenville, S.C., some children started singing “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and the whole crowd—some ten thousand strong—took up the refrain. There were similar greetings at each railroad crossing Roosevelt’s train traversed. After his funeral his body lay in state for one day in Washington, the coffin viewed by numerous people including now President Harry Truman. Roosevelt’s train then embarked for New York, prompting similar receptions in the North as it had in the South. Finally, on April 15, 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt was laid to rest in Hyde Park, New York. On the same day a memorial service was held for him at Fort Benning, not far from his beloved Warm Springs (see photos on this page).

April 16, 1945 - The Russian Army launched an offensive against Berlin.

April 28, 1945 - Mussolini hanged by Italian mob.

April 30, 1945 - Adolph Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker.

May 7, 1945 - All German armed forces surrendered unconditionally..

May 8, 1945 - Victory in Europe (VE) day declared.

June 22, 1945 - Americans captured Okinawa.

June 27, 1945 - The U.S. Post Office Department issued a 3-cent stamp commemorating Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. This was the first in a series of four stamps issued in memory of the recently deceased president. Each stamp showed an oval portrait of Roosevelt to the left plus a scene of an important place associated with his life. The 3-cent issue showed the White House in Washington, D.C.

July 5, 1945 - The Philippines liberated.

July 16, 1945 - first atomic bomb tested successfully at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

July 26, 1945 - The U.S. Post Office Department issued a 1-cent stamp commemorating Roosevelt in Hyde Park, N.Y. This was the second in a series of four stamps issued in memory of the recently deceased president. Each stamp showed an oval portrait of Roosevelt to the left plus a scene of an important place associated with his life. The 1-cent issue showed Roosevelt’s house in Hyde Park, N.Y.

August 6, 1945 - Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

August 9, 1945 - Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

August 14, 1945 - Unconditional surrender of Japan.

August 15, 1945 - Victory in Japan (VJ) Day announced.

August 24, 1945 - The U.S. Post Office Department issued a 2-cent stamp [view stamp] commemorating Roosevelt from Warm Springs, Ga. This was the third in a series of four stamps issued in memory of the recently deceased president. Each stamp showed an oval portrait of Roosevelt to the left plus a scene of an important place associated with his life. The 2-cent issue showed the Little White House at Warm Springs.

November 1945 - Founder’s Day was held at Warm Springs. While it was certainly a sad occasion—Roosevelt’s seat at the head of the table was left vacant -there was some good news. The war was over, and the Foundation was in excellent financial condition, thanks largely to the over half a million dollars it had received upon Roosevelt’s death. Now the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and the National Foundation had more monetary and human resources available than ever before.

January 8, 1946 - the Commission of Fine Arts and Treasury Secretary approved an image of Franklin D. Roosevelt to be coined on dimes.

January 30, 1946 - The U.S. Post Office Department issued a 5-cent stamp commemorating Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. This was the last in a series of four stamps issued in memory of the recently deceased president. Each stamp showed an oval portrait of Roosevelt to the left plus a scene associated with his life. The 5-cent issue featured the words “Freedom of Speech and Religion, From Want and Fear” imposed over a globe.

1946 - Congress intoduced a resolution authorizing the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Commission.

1955 - Public law 84-372 made the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Commission official.

April 12, 1955 - Exactly ten years to the day after Roosevelt’s death, the National Institute for Infantile Paralysis announced that field tests of a vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, in Foundation sponsored research, had proven conclusively that polio could be prevented. With the victory over this dreaded disease won, the organizations Roosevelt had created and inspired moved on to other goals. The Georgia Warm Springs Foundation became the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, ministering to all with paralysis, whatever the cause. The March of Dimes has become a leader in the efforts to raise money to combat and prevent multiple childhood diseases. The legacy Franklin D. Roosevelt left the country has been well documented.

1959 - The West Potomac Park site of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial was approved by Congress.

January 2, 1966 - The U.S. Post Office issued a 6-cent stamp showing an engraving of Roosevelt’s head based on a photo of the president with Winston Churchill aboard a ship while signing the Atlantic Charter. The stamp was released in Hyde Park, N.Y. [On Feb. 28, 1968, the 6-cent Roosevelt stamp was issued in a redesigned format.]

1974 - Lawrence Halprin was selected to design the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and his design was approved.

January 30, 1982 - The U.S. Postal Service issued a 20-cent Franklin D. Roosevelt commemorative stamp on the 100th anniversary of his birth, with first day of issue ceremonies in Hyde Park, N.Y. The engraved stamp was based on a photograph of the president in his touring car talking with reporters while watching tree plantings at Hyde Park.

1991 - Ground was broken in West Potomac park for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

1994 - Construction began on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

May, 1997 - The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial was officially dedicated.

In addition to leading the nation through the Great Depression and World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt left a lasting legacy upon the small town in southwestern Georgia he considered he considered “home” as much as any other place. Warm Spring was always very special to Roosevelt, and his legacy can still be seen there at the Little White House State Historic Site and Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.

Epilogue to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Visits to Georgia View large image

Memorial Service for FDR at Fort Benning - April 15, 1945: Stage and Stands, with Procession Marching In
Source: Collection of Ed Jackson

Epilogue to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Visits to Georgia View large image

Memorial Service for FDR at Fort Benning - April 15, 1945: Soldiers Seated in the Form of a Cross
Source: Collection of Ed Jackson

Epilogue to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Visits to Georgia View large image

Memorial Service for FDR at Fort Benning - April 15, 1945: Soldiers in Stands, with Church in Background
Source: Collection of Ed Jackson