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“‘Wouldn’t Have Missed It’ Was Sentiment of Roosevelt Throng,” November 30, 1935


(The following article is from the November 30, 1935 issue of the Atlanta Journal.)

“Wouldn’t Have Missed It,” Was Sentiment of Roosevelt Throng

by Frank C. Gilreath, Jr.

“I wouldn’t have missed that for anything.”

That brief but expressive statement came from a collegiate-type young man as he filed out of Grant Filed Friday afternoon, after the President had spoken.

The same expression seemed to be written on the faces of the thousands of other people as they moved, inch by inch, out of the crowded stadium.

Some were commenting on the President’s talk; others merely were smiling. But all, young and old, rich and poor, were happy. They were glad they had come. Most of them saw their President for the first time.

The crowd in and outside of Grant Field, taken as a whole, was an orderly one. Men and women in all walks of life obeyed, in a friendly mood, the orders of policemen and special officers.

But the people kept moving about for a better position from which they could get a glimpse of their leader.

A few minutes before the presidential car sped into North Avenue, a mass of humanity surged down the middle of the street toward the immediate area of the football stadium. They hurriedly were pushed onto the sidewalks, roped off on each side of the street.

When the President’s party pulled up at North Avenue and Techwood Drive, where brief exercises dedicating the Techwood housing project were held, the street was clear.

During a brief wait before the car left the scene of the dedication for the stadium, Erle Cocke, general chairman of the Roosevelt home-coming celebration, walked up and shook hands with the President.

“It’s been a grand day,” Mr. Roosevelt said. “Are the stands filled up inside?” he asked with a nod toward the nearby stadium. The chairman assured him they were, and the President smiled his approval.

Inside the stadium the same good-natured atmosphere prevailed. When the President had finished his speech and started out of the bowl, the thousands of people in the stands remained in their places.

After Mr. Roosevelt passed through the exit to his awaiting car, the crowd rushed to the top of the stadium for one last glimpse of him.

They waved a good-bye to their President. And their chief smiled and waved a good-bye in return. They were happy, were the people.

“I wouldn’t have missed that for anything,” each one seemed to be saying.

Atlanta Journal, November 30, 1935