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“Warm Springs Hospitality Won Heart of Roosevelt,” April 13, 1945


(The following is article appeared on p. 15 of the April 13, 1945 issue of the Atlanta Constitution.)

Birthplace of REA

Warm Springs Hospitality Won Heart of Roosevelt

Warm Springs, Ga. April 12—(AP)—Franklin Delano Roosevelt loved this little town where he died today. And Warm springs loved the President.

He’d been coming here for the last 20 years to bathe in the warm springs. He once described himself as a “Democratic Yankee” who came to Georgia “in search of a pool of war water where he could swim his way back to health.”

The President said of this “Democratic Yankee” that his new neighbors extended to him the hand of genuine hospitality, welcomed him to their firesides and made him “feel so much at home that he built himself a house, bought himself a farm and has been coming back ever since.”

Warm Springs has only 608 residents, maybe not that many now, for those were the 1940 census figures and many of the boys and girls have gone off to war. Few were there in the community who didn’t know the President.

As he drove through the streets, he’d stop often to chat with an old friend; or pause to save cheerily to another. Warm Springs would fight for him at the drop of a hat as a result.

Mr. Roosevelt disclosed some years ago that the idea for the setting up of the rural Electrification Administration to take lights to farm homes was born in Warm Springs—because of a light bill he received for the little cottage he had bought.

That bill was at the rate of 18 cents a kilowatt hour. The President noted this was four times what he paid at Hyde Park and later said “that started my long study of proper utility charges for electricity and the whole subject of getting electricity into farm homes throughout the United States.”

Warm Springs has voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Roosevelt in each of the four elections in which he was elected President. Last November this county, Meriwether, gave him 3,187 votes to 181 for Gov. Thomas E. Dewey.

Atlanta Constitution, April 13, 1945, p. 15