8mm film clip shows FDR walking at 1937 All-Star Game

Every so often, post-polio FDR made public appearances where he was standing or walking, with support — and in great pain. We know, for example, that his son helped walk him to the lectern in 1932 to become the first presidential candidate ever to accept the party’s nomination in person. But the above clip may be one of the few times captured on film — and possibly the largest number of people he ever walked in front of publicly.

The 8mm footage comes from the personal collection of former Major League Baseball player Jimmie DeShong, who apparently filmed it himself at the 1937 All-Star Game in Washington D.C. The media rarely even showed the president’s wheelchair, let alone his agonizing walking, although he tended not to conceal it when interacting with people in person in small settings. The film has just been donated to the state of Pennsylvania.

You can also see photos of his leg braces, wheelchair, and specially modified car — tools that he used to work with his disability — from the FDR Library website.

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and a local elected official.
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