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FDR Extemporaneous Remarks, Griffin, March 23, 1938

Informal Remarks of President Roosevelt, Griffin, Georgia, March 23, 1938

[After delivering a major speech in Gainesville, Ga., Roosevelt stopped briefly in Griffin on his way to Warm Springs and gave the following remarks.]

I am glad to be coming home again. And I am glad to see that spring is almost with us.

I will have to tell you a story about Griffin. You did not know it, but we have a place at Warm Springs that used to be called Griffin. It was a little cottage that belonged to the old hotel. The cottage was down under the hill and, in the old days of Georgia, long before we had national prohibition, Georgia was dry – at least in theory. (Laughter)

And the good people who came to the old Warm Springs Hotel in those days, a generation ago, they could not get anything to drink at the hotel and the men of the family, the men folks, – not all of them, but some of them – when morning came, around train time, the train from Warm Springs to Griffin, they would say goodbye to their wives and say they had an important engagement in Griffin that day. So they would start off towards the railroad station but when they got down toward the bottom of the hill and were out of sight they would sneak around the corner to this little cottage and then they would sit there all the rest of the day until it was time for the afternoon train to come back to Warm Springs from Griffin.

That is why we always had a standing joke there about this little old wooden building. We used to call it Griffin and we still do call it Griffin. But, at the present time, it is a part of the quadrangle for crippled children and it is serving a much better use than it did in the old days.

It is good to be back here again. I expect to have a fine ten-day holiday. I wish I could have it more often, but you know Brother Owen (U.S. Rep. Emmett M. Owen, of Georgia), and the rest of these people on the Hill in Washington, they just make it impossible for me to be gone from the National Capital more than a week or ten days at a time. Just as long as they sit I have got to sit, too.

This year I hope to get back without fail this fall. I was headed this way last fall but had a bad tooth so had to put it off. Now that I am here I want to tell you how happy I am. I don’t care whether it rains or whether the sun shines; I am going to have a good time.

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FDR Speaking at Train Stop in Griffin, Georgia, 1938
Source: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

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