President Franklin D. Roosevelt nodded at me from his wheelchair on the porch of his favorite retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia.
“Good afternoon, Mr. President,” I said.
“May I inquire where you are from?” he asked.
“Ah, yes. I have traveled to your part of the country to inspect military installations and harbors to make sure they are ready in the event of war.”
The conversation was surreal. The distinguished, soft-spoken man in the wheelchair looked like every photo of FDR I have ever seen. It felt like I’d stepped into a time machine and been transported back to 1938. He went on to explain that he first came to Warm Springs in 1924 to swim in nearby mineral springs, searching for relief from polio.
FDR became so enchanted with the area that he built a small vacation home on the side of Pine Mountain while running for president in 1932. Throughout his terms he made many trips to the cottage, which by then had been dubbed the “Little White House.” During these visits he spoke with neighbors to learn about their difficulties, especially during the Great Depression. New Deal policies such as the Rural Electrification Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, and Tennessee Valley Authority grew out of these conversations. Today the Little White House is one of Georgia’s most popular historic sites. Guests can tour Continue reading