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Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 10th Visit to Georgia

Tenth Visit

January 20 - February 11, 1928

Roosevelt again visited Warm Springs, continuing his exercises and the development of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. The Foundation was becoming very successful at fund raising, and the number of patients continued to grow. While Roosevelt had never ignored politics, it was at this time that he began to seriously consider becoming actively involved again.

Ironically, two of the people who would be bitter political enemies for Roosevelt were making the news during this visit. Georgia senator Walter F. George, who would oppose some of Roosevelt’s later New Deal policies, was “endorsed” for presidential nomination by the Georgia state Democratic Executive Committee. George was never a serious contender for president, but many southern states were looking for an alternative to Al Smith, who eventually did receive the nomination. State Commissioner of Agriculture Eugene Talmadge released a statement encouraging farmers to plant food crops first and money crops second, and not to devote too many acres to cotton; this was an idea long preached by Roosevelt. But Roosevelt and Talmadge (who became Georgia’s governor at the same time Roosevelt was elected president) saw eye to eye on little else.

While visiting Warm Springs Roosevelt was invited to speak before the chamber of commerce of Americus and Sumter County. He used the occasion to praise the “blossoming spirit” of his second home, and also pushed his idea of using otherwise unproductive land to grow trees:

“In Georgia the movement towards the cities is growing by leaps and bounds and this means the abandonment of the farms or those farms that are not suited to the uses of agriculture. It means that we will have vacant lands but these can and should be used in growing timber.” Source: Columbus Ledger, February 8, 1928, p. 4.