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Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 36th Visit to Georgia

Thirty-sixth Visit

November 22 - November 29, 1939

Even though World War II was now in full swing, Roosevelt still managed to come down for a week at Thanksgiving. While visiting he dedicated a new community center named for his mother Sara. With his visits now more infrequent and shorter, the time spent at Warm Springs was even more special to him. Writing to the U.S. ambassador to France, who was under tremendous pressure himself, Roosevelt wrote of how important it was to get away occasionally:

“… I see no reason why, if things are really settling down to a Winter calm, you should not come over a week or ten days and let us have a chance to see you. Incidentally, it would do you lots of good… . I hope you will follow my practice of getting away for a few weeks for a short holiday. It saves my life. If you cannot fly over here, I do hope you will go down to the south of France, or even to North Africa for a really good place away from the telephone. I am absolutely certain that you are hounded to death on a million little things… .” Source: Elliott Roosevelt (ed.), F.D.R.: His Personal Letters 1928-1945, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1950), p. 959-60.

Soon after returning from Warm Springs, Roosevelt learned that the Russians had invaded Finland. He wrote to the U.S. ambassador in Japan of his concerns with both the Russians and Japanese:

“It is grand to get yours of November sixth on my return this morning from a few days’ holiday in Warm Springs. In the meantime, the Finland attack has occurred and the whole of the United States is not only horrified but thoroughly angry. People are asking why one should have anything to do with the present Soviet leaders because their idea of civilization and human happiness is so totally different from ours.” We have not got that feeling about Japan but things might develop into such a feeling if the Japanese government were to fail to speak as civilized twentieth century human beings… .” Source: Elliott Roosevelt (ed.), F.D.R.: His Personal Letters 1928-1945, (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1950), p. 961.