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Return to FDR Oglethorpe University Commencement Address, May 22, 1932

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 40th Visit to Georgia

Fortieth Visit

April 15 - April 17, 1943

This quick three-day visit was kept very quiet and was not mentioned in the Columbus or Atlanta newspapers. Roosevelt had been on a tour of southern military bases. In Georgia, Gov. Ellis Arnall met and rode with him on a tour of Fort Benning, where Roosevelt attended several officer training classes and witnessed some maneuvers. On the evening of the 15th, he arrived in Warm Springs, had dinner with and gave a brief talk to the companions, then took a swim in the pool. The next day he drove his car around the countryside before enjoying a picnic lunch on Pine Mountain. As they always did after his visits, a large crowd of companions gathered at Georgia Hall to see him off as he departed for Washington, D.C. Before going to Washington, Roosevelt toured a WAC camp in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in the northwest corner of the state near the Georgia-Tennessee border.

July 9-10, 1943 - Allied forces landed on Sicily.

July 22, 1943 - American forces captured Palermo.

July 27-28, 1943 - Allied incendiary bombs caused a firestorm in Hamburg, Germany.

September 9, 1943 - Allied forces landed in Italy.

November 28, 1943 - Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill met at Tehran, Iran.

December 24-26, 1943 - Russians began counter offensive in the Ukraine.

1944 was a good year for the war effort, but a poor one for Roosevelt’s health. The tremendous physical and emotional pressure he faced began to take a toll; he lost weight and strength, and was afflicted with advancing heart disease. Nor was it a good year for polio victims – there were over eighteen thousand cases reported that year – the most since 1916! Also, 1944 was an election year. There was little debate about Roosevelt running for a fourth term, as the country looked to him for leadership. He had led them through the Great Depression and was valiantly leading them through a world war. The United States was emerging as the world’s most powerful nation, and most could not foresee anyone else at the reins but Roosevelt. The only debate was on who his running mate would be. Harry S Truman was eventually chosen.

January 6, 1944 - Russian Army moved into Poland.

January 22, 1944 - Allied forces landed at Anzio, Italy.

January 27, 1944 - Russians broke siege of Leningrad.

May 12, 1944 - German forces in Crimea surrendered to Russia.

June 5, 1944 - Allied forced recaptured Rome.

June 6, 1944 - D-Day; Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to begin invasion of northern Europe.

June 19-20, 1944 - Mariana Turkey Shoot, in which American forces destroyed over 200 Japanese aircraft, while losing only 20.

June 22, 1944 - Russian Army began huge offensive.

June 27, 1944 - Americans freed Cherbourg, France.

July 9, 1944 - Allied forces liberated Caen.

July 18, 1944 - Americans liberated St. Lo.

July 20, 1944 - There was a failed assassination attempt of Hitler.

August 15, 1944 - Allied forces invaded southern France.

August 23, 1944 - Romania fell to the Russians.

August 25, 1944 - Allied forces liberated Paris.

September 13, 1944 - American troops reached the border of western Germany.

October 23-26, 1944 - Battle of Leyte Gulf - largest naval battle in history to that point. Americans destroyed majority of remaining Japanese navy.

November 7, 1944 - Roosevelt was elected to his fourth term as President; his vice-presidential running mate was Harry Truman. Although he was not well, Roosevelt ran a vigorous campaign and appeared as a strong leader to the American people and to the world.