Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Was watching the segment on History Channel about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his impact with ordinary Americans with little tidbits that does not mean a thing to people who has money, prestige and status quo.

When I was 13 years old, I met my father's school friend who revered Franklin Delano Roosevelt 40 years after his death. He even mentioned that he still has a picture of FDR framed in his home. He made it clear to his wife that that portrait will *never* be taken off while he is still around. Why?

He said that during the Depression, he graduated from the deaf school -- in his words, "LIFE HARD BEFORE -- IMPOSSIBLE FIND JOB, NOBODY HELP NOTHING -- NO SSI, NOTHING AT ALL."

Someone jokingly told him to write a letter to Roosevelt who was just elected as the President of this country. This person took the suggestion to the heart. He wrote the letter to FDR asking for a job, something to start with his life. That he is Deaf and he tried to apply several positions at the manufacturing plants near his home.

My father's friend said that a man in a black suit with the suitcase knocked at his door and told him that he was sent by President Roosevelt to work out the problem. My father's friend explained everything. And they went to the local manufacturing plant and had a blistering talk with the supervisors at the premises for not hiring enough minorities. On the same day, my friend's friend was hired on the spot -- it was said that the supervisors looked so "white and scared" after the brief talk by Roosevelt's representative.

From there, the friend of my father worked until his retirement from the same manufacturing plant.

So when I saw the segment on the History Channel which it showed the coffin of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in front of millions of distraught persons, women, children, men, colors do not matter. They showed the posters where it reads: "He gave me a job" or "He was my friend" ... he may be the only President in the 20th Century that truly got in touch with the ordinary Americans. For that, he will be immortalized for ever.

It is interesting to note that when Roosevelt was dead and put in the coffin, his loyal dog, Fala followed him around, even stayed next to his coffin while the body laid in state at the United States Capital. Suffice to say, Fala was buried next to Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York.


No comments: