Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 27th Visit to Georgia
November 18 - December 6, 1933
Before returning to Warm Springs for his annual Thanksgiving visit, Roosevelt delivered an address in Savannah in celebration of Georgia’s bicentennial. After his arrival in Warm Springs he wrote a letter to a friend talking about the recovery efforts:
“. . . Now let me tell you something cheerful. This Southland has a smile on its face. Ten cent cotton has stopped foreclosures, saved banks and started people definitely on the upgrade. That means all the way from Virginia to Texas. Sears-Roebuck sales in Georgia are 110 per cent above 1932. . . . I am having a grand rest and am catching up on much needed sleep. . . .” Source: Elliott Roosevelt (ed.), F.D.R.: His Personal Letters 1928-1945, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1950), p. 372-3.
Writing to another friend he showed that his supreme efforts in fighting the Depression did not mean he had forgotten the Warm Springs Foundation. In fact he was urging this particular friend not to give too much!
“. . . Carp tells you sent another check to Warm Springs. Don’t do it again. We are raising bushels of money—$25,000 from the New York Concert, and this will let us start another building.” Source: Elliott Roosevelt (ed.), F.D.R.: His Personal Letters 1928-1945, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1950), p. 374.
As the preceding letter suggests, things at Warm Springs had been far from idle even without Roosevelt there in person. Georgia Power Company agreed to provide electricity to Roosevelt’s farm, provided he pay to have his own transmission line built (which he did). Roosevelt’s Georgia experiences led him to create the Rural Electrification Administration two years later. In his letter, Roosevelt referred to “another building.” Constructed in 1933, Georgia Hall housed the Foundation’s administrative offices, dining rooms and kitchens, game rooms, and reception area. More than just an office building, it became the place where all the patients at Warm Springs gathered to welcome the president when he arrived and see the him off when he departed from his second home. Most of the contributions were not as large as that mentioned from the New York concert in the letter above. People were encouraged to donate small amounts, and all received acknowledgement, as can be seen in the ticket (pictured on this page) from April 11, 1933. With FDR’s growing national (and eventually worldwide) responsibilities, his trips would become less frequent—but still very much treasured by both Roosevelt and his “companions.”