President Franklin Delano Franklin
Compiled by D. A. Sharpe
Franklin Delano Franklin was born January 30, 1882 at Hyde Park, New York. His education was an AB degree from Harvard University and a JD law degree from Columbia Law School.
He married Eleanor Roosevelt March 17, 1905 in New York. They gave issue to six children: Anna Eleanor (1906 - 1975), James II (1907 - 1991), Franklin (1909 - 1909), Elliott (1910-1990), Franklin Delano, Jr. (1914-1988), and John Aspinwall II (1916-1981).
President Roosevelt is my half eighth cousin. The ancestor in common is our seventh great grandmother, Alice Carpenter, who immigrated from England to Plymouth Colony in 1623. Roosevelt is descended through Alice and her first husband, Englishman Edward Southworth. I am descended through Alice and her second husband, William Bradford, born in England, but known most notably as the Mayflower passenger who become Governor of Plymouth Colony. Roosevelt is the 18th cousin, four times removed to my son-in-law, Steve O. Westmoreland, through his mother's line.
Roosevelt is the eleventh cousin, once removed from England's Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. The ancestor in common to President Roosevelt and Sir Churchill is Viscount Anthony Browne III. Viscount Browne is the tenth great grandfather of President Roosevelt and is the eleventh great grandfather of Sir Churchill.
President Roosevelt is the half 13th cousin, eight times removed to our first President, General George Washington.
While the Roosevelts were vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada in August 1921, Roosevelt fell ill. His main symptoms were fever; symmetric, ascending paralysis; facial paralysis; bowel and bladder dysfunction; numbness and hyperesthesia; and a descending pattern of recovery. Roosevelt was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down. He was diagnosed with poliomyelitis at the time, but his symptoms are more consistent with Guillain–Barré syndrome – an autoimmune neuropathy which Roosevelt's doctors failed to consider as a diagnostic possibility. In 1926, his belief in the benefits of hydrotherapy led him to found a rehabilitation center at Warm Springs, Georgia. In 1938, he founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, leading to the development of polio vaccines. This resulted in his confinement to a wheel chair the remainder of his life.
"(Roosevelt) served as the 32nd President of the United States and was elected to an unprecedented four terms in office. He served from 1933-1945, and is the only President to serve more than two terms. [The adoption of the 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution on February 27, 1951 limited anyone serving as President more than two terms, so Roosevelt's accomplishment may never be repeated.] As a central figure of the 20th century, scholarly surveys rank Franklin Delano Roosevelt among the three greatest U.S. Presidents. [Of course, the political bent of citizens from the field of the scholarly tend to reflect policies championed by FDR! Such view is not universal.]
"During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Roosevelt created the New Deal to provide relief for the unemployed, recovery of the economy, and reform of the economic system. His most famous legacies include the Social Security system [which he envisioned to be somewhat temporary and to be discontinued when no longer needed] and the regulation of Wall Street [the economic world of investments in stock and financial instruments.] His aggressive use of an active federal government re-energized the Democratic party. Roosevelt built the New Deal coalition that dominated politics into the 1960s. He and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt remain touchstones for American liberalism. The conservatives fought back, but Roosevelt consistently prevailed, until he tried to pack the Supreme Court in 1937. The Conservative coalition formed to stop New Deal expansion.
"On February 15, 1933, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt in Miami, Florida that claimed the life of Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak.
"After 1938, Roosevelt championed rearmament and led the nation away from isolationism as the world headed into World War II. He provided extensive support to Winston Churchill and the British war effort before the attack on Pearl Harbor pulled the U.S. into the fighting. During the war, Roosevelt and the United States provided decisive leadership against Nazi Germany and made the United States the principal arms supplier and financier of the Allies who defeated Germany, Italy and Japan. Roosevelt led the United States as it became the Arsenal of Democracy, putting 16 million American men and women into uniform.
"On the home front his term saw the end of unemployment, restoration of prosperity, significant new taxes and controls, 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans sent to relocation camps, and new opportunities opened for African Americans and women. As the Allies neared victory, Roosevelt played a critical role in shaping the post-war world, particularly through the Yalta Conference and the creation of the United Nations. Roosevelt died [April 12, 1945] on the eve of victory in World War II and was succeeded in office by Vice President Harry S. Truman.
"Roosevelt's administration redefined liberalism for subsequent generations and realigned the Democratic Party. It based his New Deal coalition on labor, ethnic and racial minorities, the South, big city machines, and the poor."
On August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Roosevelt, urging the creation of an atomic weapons research program. On October 11, 1939, A letter from Albert Einstein was delivered to President Franklin D. Roosevelt about Einstein's concern of the possibility of atomic weapons. This must have been a somber communication for Roosevelt to receive on this, the 55th birthday of his wife, Eleanor.
On January 24, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco. I doubt that either statesman realized they were related to each other as eleventh cousins, once removed. On November 28, 1943, Franklin and Winston met again. This time, it was at Tehran where they met with Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin. So, it may be said that we had our biggest guns of our family dealing with Stalin, and it took a while to rid the earth of his murderous rampage.
Roosevelt was a man with a faith and who revered the Holy Scriptures. Here are some thoughts he said of the Bible:
“In the formative days of the Republic, the directing influence the Bible exercised upon the fathers of the nation is conspicuously evident … This Book continues to hold its unchallenged place as the most loved, the most quoted, and the most universally read and pondered of all the volumes which our libraries contain … We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. I suggest a nation-wide reading of the Holy Scriptures …. For a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of the greatness as this nation has achieved.”
Source: “Statement on the Four Hundredth Anniversary of the Printing of the English Bible.” American Presidency Project, October 6, 1935, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/we/?pid-14960 and “Proclamation—Thanksgiving Day, American Presidency Project, November 1, 1944, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws?pid=72460
On April 12, 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, died of a cerebral hemorrhage while at his family's retreat home in Warm Springs, Georgia. He was age 63.
Dwight Albert (D. A.) Sharpe
805 Derting Road East
Aurora, TX 76078-3712