When Franklin Roosevelt died in April of 1945, I was three years old. Though the president was a democrat and my grandmother a republican, Grandma cried. I suppose it was grandma’s crying that cemented the president’s death in my memory. I vaguely recall that, following his death, Roosevelt was transported to Washington, DC for his funeral. Some years later, I learned of his home overlooking the Hudson River in Hyde Park, New York. I thus assumed that he died at his Hyde Park home. But that assumption as wrong.
On our recent driving trip, from Oregon to Florida, Wendy and I visited Franklin Roosevelt’s home in Warm Springs, Georgia. We learned that it was there that he died on April 12, 1945. He collapsed while sitting for a portrait painted by the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff. The now famous Unfinished Portrait hangs at Roosevelt’s home in Warm Springs.
On the day following his death, Roosevelt’s body was transported by train to Washington, DC. Following his presidential funeral, he was transported to, and buried at, his home in Hyde Park, New York. I’m pretty sure that my memory of the 1945 event was of the president’s travel by train from Warm Springs, Georgia to his funeral service in Washington, DC.
Until visiting Warm Springs in May of this year, I had never known the correct location of the president’s death or of his residence in Warm Springs, Georgia. His Warm Springs home is small and simple. Quite the opposite from his grandiose mansion overlooking the Hudson River in Hyde Park, New York. As Wendy and I, on a previous trip, had visited the Hyde Park mansion, I was struck by the contrast. In discussing this contrast with one of the guides at Warm Springs, I learned that the home in Hyde Park was that of Roosevelt’s mother. And “mommy” had much more grandiose taste than did the president.
Here are images and information about Franklin Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park, New York.
And here are images and information about Franklin Roosevelt’s home in Warm Springs, Georgia.