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Little White House State Park honors FDR the man

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WARM SPRINGS, Ga. -

It's Presidents Day, and though Washington and Lincoln get most of the attention, another commander-in-chief has a strong tie to north Georgia. The nation's 32nd president had a strong tie to Georgia with his Little White House getaway in Warm Springs.

You've seen Roosevelt in history books, dimes, and in the movies, but it may be in Warm Springs where you can really discover the person who was FDR.

"Well, we want to project a different feel here.  Hyde Park will talk a lot about his Presidency up there, at the mansion, but here we want to talk about Roosevelt the person," said Site Manager Ronnie Glass.

Roosevelt fell in love with Warm Springs and built the Little White House in 1932.

"This was his cabin, this was his retreat, this was his peace and tranquility," Glass said.

FDR died at the Little White House in 1945, but nothing inside has been changed. So, it's full of clues about his personal life. For example, he wasn't afraid to drop some cash if it meant better toast.

"This is 2 slices, toasted on both sides. This is high end success," said Glass.

There are ships everywhere. Roosevelt loved sailing, and he also loved reading. Glass said most of the books cover political subjects.

Many people still don't realize Roosevelt's legs never recovered from polio. When he was here at Warm Springs, he was in a wheelchair which he made out of a dining room chair.

"We only know of about six pictures of him in a wheelchair in existence. That's how much he was protected, so Americans think he could walk," said Glass.

Roosevelt was also a huge practical joker!  He used to jump in his car and lead his Secret Service on car chases because he thought it was funny.

So how much do you know about Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Why not try your hand at answering the following questions.

1. There are 113 handmade canes at the Little White House, sent to FDR by admirers. True or false: Roosevelt used them to walk.

If you answered false, you are correct.

"That's the greatest deception of American that there was of the time.  You see, most people, even today, believe that Roosevelt came to Warm Springs, and he was cured of polio.  And that's just not the case," said Glass.
    
In fact, the president never really walked as we know it. The only way he could stand was if he was held up by braces. But through clever press, the public never knew it.

2. True or false: Roosevelt's image is on the dime because he created the charity.

If you answered true, you are correct.

"He started holding birthday bashes here. They were huge birthday parties for the President. And they raised tons of money. That money was used to establish the March of Dimes," explained Glass.

3. True or false: FDR was a universally loved president during his record four terms.

If you answered false, you are correct.

"With FDR, you either loved him or you hated him.  There was no middle ground there. And most of those that didn't care for him, they were politically motivated.  They thought he had too much power," said Glass.

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