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FDR Remarks at the Dedication of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation School, April 1, 1939

President Roosevelt’s Remarks at the Dedication of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation School, Warm Springs, Ga., April 1, 1939

Members of the Warm Springs family and fellow jitterers:

I think that those of us who have been in Warm Springs since the early days of the Foundation are perhaps glad that the completed article did not come into being all at one time; in other words, that it has taken a great many years for us to develop our physical plant. Because it has taken so long, we have probably avoided a great many mistakes that we would have committed if all these buildings had been put up at the beginning.

There again, I want to emphasize one thought to you today about the Foundation. People think of Warm Springs as just a place dedicated to medical care, just another hospital. And yet, thinking back, they cannot realize some of the many problems that we hav ehad to face and still hav eto face. If, for example, Warm Springs Foundation was located in a city, think of all the things that we would not have to have. Think of the educational facilities of a large community. We would not have to have a fire department; we would not have to have roads. We would not have to have the care of the families of the patients and, believe me, that is quite a care. We would not have to work on the social problem if we were located in a city. Here we have these many outside matters to think of and to care for, and one of them has been the question of education. It has not been, again, merely the question of running a village school, because in each case we have had to think of the individual problems of the boy or girl who receives instruction. We have had to think not only of book learning but, as time has gone on, the relationship of book learning to what the individual child could do physically and, with that, this growing science of educational training, the need of fitting each case into the broad circumstances of that case.

So, here at Warm Springs, I am glad that we have developed slowly. This building is going to form a very wonderful center. Actually, I go back a good many years before Mrs. Huntington, when the only thing we had in the way of learning was a little bit of a room called ‘The Library’ and people, when they got through with detective stories and other fairy tales would give their books to the Library. That was the only voluntary instruction of the earlier days. So you see how the place has grown. The whole educational problem has grown with the advanc eof medical science that goes with the care of the individual patient.

I am very happy because of this splendid gift of Mrs. Tuck and I am sure that I speak for everybody here when I suggest that Mr. O’Connor send her a telegram to tell her of these delightful dedicatory exercises, that all of the Warm Springs family were here and that they hope very much when she returns to the United States she will come down to Warm Springs and visit us.”

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