The death of President Franklin Roosevelt (4-12-45)


CBS bulletin:

Bill Henry reports on succession order (CBS):

Don Fisher report (CBS):

Fulton Lewis report (MBS):

NBCR broadcast:

RIP to the second most influential president ever.

Statement by President Truman After Taking the Oath of Office
April 12, 1945, 8:10 p.m. EWT

The world may be sure that we will prosecute the war on both fronts, east and west, with all the vigor we possess to a successful conclusion.

U.S. Navy Department (April 12, 1945)

Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 12, 1945

Death of President Told to Naval Service in Message from Secretary of the Navy Forrestal

News of the death of President Roosevelt was dispatched to all ships and stations of the United States Navy tonight in a message by Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, who called upon the nation’s sea forces to pay tribute to the memory of the nation’s leader by carrying on “in the tradition of which he was so proud.”

The Secretary’s message follows:

I have the sad duty of announcing to the naval service the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President of the United States, which occurred on twelve April.

The world has lost a champion of democracy who can ill be spared by our country and the Allied cause. The Navy which he so dearly loved can pay no better tribute to his memory than to carry on in the tradition of which he was so proud.

Colors shall be displayed at half-mast for thirty days beginning 0800 thirteen April West Longitude Date insofar as war operations permit. Memorial services shall be held on the day of the funeral to be announced later at all yards and stations and on board all vessels of the Navy, war operations permitting.

Wearing of mourning badges and firing of salutes will be dispensed with in view of war conditions.


Only if had lived a bit longer, the french would not get Indochina back and decades of bloodshed could be avoided.

Thank you Roosevelt for your work. May you rest in peace.

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Announcing the Death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 13, 1945

To the People of the United States:

It has pleased God in His infinite wisdom to take from us the immortal spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States.

The leader of his people in a great war, he lived to see the assurance of the victory but not to share it. He lived to see the first foundations of the free and peaceful world to which his life was dedicated, but not to enter on that world himself.

His fellow countrymen will sorely miss his fortitude and faith and courage in the time to come.

The peoples of the earth who love the ways of freedom and of hope will mourn for him.

But though his voice is silent, his courage is not spent, his faith is not extinguished. The courage of great men outlives them to become the courage of their people and the peoples of the world. It lives beyond them and upholds their purposes and brings their hopes to pass.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY S. TRUMAN, President of the United States of America, do appoint Saturday next, April 14, the day of the funeral service for the dead President, as a day of mourning and prayer throughout the United States. I earnestly recommend the people to assemble on that day in their respective places of divine worship, there to bow down in submission to the will of Almighty God, and to pay out of full hearts their homage of love and reverence to the memory of the great and good man whose death they mourn.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States, to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington, the thirteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and forty-five, and of the independence of the United States, the one hundred and sixty-ninth.


By the President:
Secretary of State

Vorarlberger Tagblatt (April 13, 1945)

Präsident Roosevelt gestorben

Sensationelle Meldung aus dem Weißen Haus – Tod durch Gehirnblutung

Berlin – Wie das Weiße Haus mitteilt, ist der amerikanische Präsident Roosevelt am Donnerstagnachmittag an einer Gehirnblutung plötzlich gestorben.

Sich in unseren verwüsteten Städten versinnbildlichen haben dafür Sorge getragen.

Der Tod Roosevelts wird selbstverständlich schwerwiegende Folgen haben. Wieweit er den Vortritt der Vereinigen Staaten beschützt, bleibt abzuwarten. Das deutliche Volk wird bei dem Empfang vieler Meldung tief aufatmen, dann den Heim nur noch fester binden und weiter auf seine Feinde losschlagen. Jetzt erst recht: Widerstand bis zum Letzten! Das Schicksal hat uns einen Wink gegeben, mit haben ihn verstanden.

Undelivered Address Prepared for Jefferson Day
April 13, 1945

Americans are gathered together this evening in communities all over the country to pay tribute to the living memory of Thomas Jefferson – one of the greatest of all democrats; and I want to make it clear that I am spelling that word “democrats” with a small d.

I wish I had the power, just for this evening, to be present at all of these gatherings.

In this historic year, more than ever before, we do well to consider the character of Thomas Jefferson as an American citizen of the world.

As Minister to France, then as our first Secretary of State and as our third President, Jefferson was instrumental in the establishment of the United States as a vital factor in international affairs.

It was he who first sent our Navy into far-distant waters to defend our rights. And the promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine was the logical development of Jefferson’s far-seeing foreign policy.

Today this Nation which Jefferson helped so greatly to build is playing a tremendous part in the battle for the rights of man all over the world.

Today we are part of the vast Allied force – a force composed of flesh and blood and steel and spirit – which is today destroying the makers of war, the breeders of hatred, in Europe and in Asia.

In Jefferson’s time our Navy consisted of only a handful of frigates headed by the gallant USS Constitution – Old Ironsides – but that tiny Navy taught Nations across the Atlantic that piracy in the Mediterranean – acts of aggression against peaceful commerce and the enslavement of their crews – was one of those things which, among neighbors, simply was not done.

Today we have learned in the agony of war that great power involves great responsibility. Today we can no more escape the consequences of German and Japanese aggression than could we avoid the consequences of attacks by the Barbary Corsairs a century and a half before.

We, as Americans, do not choose to deny our responsibility.

Nor do we intend to abandon our determination that, within the lives of our children and our children’s children, there will not be a third world war.

We seek peace – enduring peace. More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars – yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman, and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.

The once-powerful, malignant Nazi state is crumbling. The Japanese warlords are receiving, in their own homeland, the retribution for which they asked when they attacked Pearl Harbor.

But the mere conquest of our enemies is not enough.

We must go on to do all in our power to conquer the doubts and the fears, the ignorance and the greed, which made this horror possible.

Thomas Jefferson, himself a distinguished scientist, once spoke of “the brotherly spirit of Science, which unites into one family all its votaries of whatever grade, and however widely dispersed throughout the different quarters of the globe.”

Today, science has brought all the different quarters of the globe so close together that it is impossible to isolate them one from another.

Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace.

Let me assure you that my hand is the steadier for the work that is to be done, that I move more firmly into the task, knowing that you – millions and millions of you – are joined with me in the resolve to make this work endure.

The work, my friends, is peace. More than an end of this war – an end to the beginnings of all wars. Yes, an end, forever, to this impractical, unrealistic settlement of the differences between governments by the mass killing of peoples.

Today, as we move against the terrible scourge of war – as we go forward toward the greatest contribution that any generation of human beings can make in this world- the contribution of lasting peace, I ask you to keep up your faith. I measure the sound, solid achievement that can be made at this time by the straight edge of your own confidence and your resolve. And to you, and to all Americans who dedicate themselves with us to the making of an abiding peace, I say:

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 13, 1945)


Truman takes up fight for Roosevelt’s ideals

All world saddened by President’s death – funeral tomorrow
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer


WASHINGTON – Franklin D. Roosevelt, for 12 unprecedented years President of the United States, died yesterday – a casualty in history’s greatest war. Last night, at 7:08 p.m. ET, Harry S. Truman became the nation’s 32nd President.

Mr. Roosevelt died suddenly in “The Little White House” at Warm Springs, Georgia, as armies he helped to muster drove momentarily closer to final victory over Nazi Germany.

This morning, President Truman took over the White House responsibility, reaffirmed his pledge to prosecute the war with full vigor, and promised to strive for the high ideals of his predecessor.

Congress, chiefs of the fighting forces and foreign policy leaders quickly closed ranks behind Mr. Truman’s pledge of quick victory and firm peace as a memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

To address Congress Monday

Mr. Truman moved quickly into action. Within a few hours of taking over, he had gone to Capitol Hill and arranged to make a formal declaration of his objectives before a joint Congressional session at 1 p.m. Monday. The address will be broadcast. He also may speak by radio to the Armed Forces Tuesday night.

Worn out at 63, Mr. Roosevelt died as other forces fighting in freedom’s name foretold the doom of militarist Japan.

He died on the eve of what he had hoped would be the inauguration of an era of peace in a world at long last free from want and fear.

Mr. Roosevelt died at 4:35 p.m. of “a massive cerebral hemorrhage.” Mr. Truman took the oath from Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone less than three hours later.

San Francisco parley to go on

The new Chief Executive’s first statement was:

It will be my effort to carry on as I believe the President would have done, and to that end I have asked the Cabinet to stay on with me.

Mr. Truman’s second act as President was to instruct Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius Jr. to go ahead “as planned” with what perhaps was Mr. Roosevelt’s dearest project – the United Nations Conference at San Francisco April 25 to chart a road to peace on earth.

Mr. Roosevelt’s body will be brought here tomorrow. Mrs. Roosevelt went to Warm Springs by plane last night.

Funeral services – in the East Room of the White House at 4 p.m. tomorrow – will be simple, and restricted to Government heads, the family and friends. The President will be buried on his beloved ancestral estate at Hyde Park Sunday at 10 a.m.

Members of the Roosevelt family began gathering today at the White House. Daughter Anna Boettiger was already there. Three daughters-in-law, Mrs. Elliott Roosevelt, the former movie star Faye Emerson; Mrs. James Roosevelt and Mrs. John Roosevelt arrived this morning.

Brig. Gen. Elliott Roosevelt was en route by plane from England. Col. James Roosevelt was on the way from the Pacific but it was doubtful whether he would arrive in time for the funeral. Two other sons, John and Franklin Jr., are overseas and will not be able to attend.

Presidential Adviser Harry Hopkins left Rochester, Minnesota, by Army plane for Washington.

The funeral train will arrive at the Union Station here at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

White House Secretary Jonathan Daniels said the body will not lie in state. He added that the President did not want flowers.

Bishop Angus Dunn, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, the Rev. Howard S. Wilkinson of St. Thomas’ Church in Washington, and the Rev. John C. McGee of St. John’s Church, Washington, will officiate at the White House services.

Rev. W. George Anthony of St. James Church, Hyde Park, will officiate at burial.

Entire world shocked

The President’s death before realization of the victory he worked so hard to assure shocked the world and stunned this capital. It occurred on a pleasant spring day in a charming little room overlooking a green and lovely Georgia valley.

He died in his quarters at the Warm Springs Foundation which he called his “Second Home.” He called it that because in Warm Springs’ healing waters, he had often found surcease from infantile paralysis, the affliction which he had borne without murmur since 1924.

He had gone there in a vain effort to throw off the weariness which seamed his face and sagged his shoulders after perhaps the most momentous event of his international career – the Big Three meeting at Yalta.

The news of Mr. Roosevelt’s death was flashed to Washington from Warm Springs shortly after 4:35 p.m. The President’s old friend, White House Secretary Stephen T. Early, broke the news to Mrs. Roosevelt. She took it with shoulders squared and head high. She said: “I am more sorry for the people of the country and the world than I am for us.”

Then she cabled a brief message to each of the President’s four sons, all of whom are fighting in this greatest of wars.

She told them their father did his job to the end as he would want them to do. She said bless you all and all our love and signed herself, “Mother.”

Served 12 years

Mr. Roosevelt, the first wartime President to die in office, had served 12 years, one month and eight days of the unprecedented four terms to which he had been elected. Mr. Truman had served as Vice President since a few moments after noon last January 20.

The oath was administered to Mr. Truman in the Cabinet room of the White House.

Mr. Truman picked up a Bible resting on the end of the big conference table, held it with one hand, and placed his right hand on top while Justice Stone pronounced the oath from memory.

No Vice President

There will be no successor as Vice President to Mr. Truman. In the event of his death, a statute provides that he would be succeeded by the Secretary of State, in this instance Mr. Stettinius.

Shortly after announcement of Mr. Roosevelt’s death, the Cabinet converged on the rambling white building where the Roosevelts have lived so long. Congressional leaders too began hurrying to the White House gate.

Mrs. Roosevelt departs

Shortly after 7 p.m., Mrs. Roosevelt – tall, erect, and all in black – left the White House for the airport and Warm Springs.

Her daughter, Mrs. Boettinger, escorted her to a black limousine.

Mrs. Roosevelt’s face was drawn, and gray. The party lingered a few minutes as daughter Anna, incongruously wearing a bright red suit, leaned against the open door and exchanged a last conversation with her mother. As the cavalcade started off, Mrs. Roosevelt looked out at a sprinkling of saddened servants and reporters and slightly bowed her head.

Mr. Truman left the White House shortly after he was sworn in with the announced intention of “going home – to bed.”

Truman assumes U.S. highest post

Conferences with Army and Navy leaders were high on the new President’s list today.

Mr. Truman walked briskly into the White House at 9 a.m. and quickly called for the leaders of the nation’s war effort to meet with him at 11.

For 55 minutes he talked with Secretary of War Stimson, Secretary of Navy Forrestal, Adm. William D. Leahy, Gen. George C. Marshall and Adm. Ernest J. King.

They left the conference grim-lipped and silent.

A mellow day

It was a mellow day in Washington, soft with the April sunshine. Outside the White House there was little to indicate that the helm of the nation had changed hands at a critical moment in the world’s history.

But inside, in the cool oval room where Franklin D. Roosevelt had guided American destiny, sat a new President and Commander-in-Chief.

Within three hours of his first working day as President, Mr. Truman had shattered his first precedent.

After conferring with military and diplomatic chiefs, he drove to Capitol Hill for a luncheon conference with the leaders of Congress.

Mr. Truman stepped from a black limousine under the watchful eyes of Secret Service men and walked into the White House with a springy step.

Fulton calls

The first caller of his administration was Hugh Fulton, counsel for the Senate War Investigating Committee when Mr. Truman was its chairman. Mr. Fulton, who came to the White House with the President and spent more than an hour with him, is expected to be one of Mr. Truman’s closest advisers.

One of Mr. Truman’s first official acts was the signing of a formal proclamation announcing to the world that President Roosevelt had died and that the former Vice President had been installed as his successor.

Sleep in old apartment

Last night, the Trumans slept in their five-room Connecticut Avenue apartment in Northwest Washington. There they will remain a little while before moving to the White House. But everything last night was beginning to change.

The Secret Service guard which had been somewhat of a formality – and a bit of an innovation, too – was imposed on Mr. Truman in earnest. The modest man from Missouri was discovering himself one of the world’s great public figures with responsibilities to match.

New managing director

The richest nation in the world was adjusting itself to a new managing director. In the sharpest sense of the phrase, Mr. Truman was on the spot, confronted with as difficult a job as this nation ever entrusted to any man.

Mr. Truman will be 61 on May 8.

Twice elected to the Senate after a career in Missouri politics, Mr. Truman became Vice President last January 20. Then in the sequence of a heartbeat yesterday, he became the head of the greatest going concern on earth.

Trumans to attend funeral

President Truman and his family, quiet, gray-haired Mrs. Truman and slim, blond daughter Mary Margaret, will travel north on the Roosevelt funeral train. The Cabinet and the Army and Navy brass, great figures of Congressional and judicial life may go, too.

The new President is a quiet, easy-going, smiling fellow. He can get tough, though. This politically sensitive Capital would put him down as somewhat more conservative than Mr. Roosevelt but inclined toward the underdog. He’s not so left-of-center, if at all.

The men who know him here are confident today that President Truman begins his administration hoping to approach most problems the way he believes Mr. Roosevelt would have approached them.

Changes probable

Above all there is agreement that the new President is a humble man, profoundly impressed by the bigness of his new job and the necessity for surrounding himself with the most competent advisers obtainable.

Almost inevitably there will be White House changes and perhaps in time some Cabinet shifts. The late President’s closest advisers – outside the membership of the Roosevelt family – were Harry L. Hopkins and Judge Samuel I. Rosenman, associates of his New York gubernatorial days. Their era of great influence probably is coming toward a close.

Hurrying to Washington is James F. Byrnes, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and until a few days ago director of the Office of War Mobilization. Mr. Byrnes resigned less devoted to Mr. Roosevelt than he had been. He was among those bitterly disappointed at the Democratic National Convention last summer. Mr. Byrnes, Sen. Alben W. Barkley (D-Kentucky) and some others thought they had the nod from Mr. Roosevelt to seek the vice-presidential nomination in an open field.

Wallace hardest hurt

Hardest hurt of all was Henry A. Wallace, then Vice President and now Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Roosevelt flashed the red light against Byrnes, Barkley and the rest. He left even Wallace stranded and let the word be passed that Harry S. Truman was the man.

With Mr. Roosevelt died the force that held together the opposing segments of the New Deal-Democratic Party. Political Washington foresees that about next Monday there will begin a contest between Wallace, the spokesman of the left wing, and the leaders of more conservative party elements for the new President’s support. If the White House swings away from the policies of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the battle between Mr. Truman and Mr. Wallace is on.

It will come more on domestic issues than foreign affairs. Mr. Truman has not been profoundly informed on international questions, as he would explain even if he were not asked.

Under him the State Department will have a freer hand than under Mr. Roosevelt who was more often than not his own Secretary of State. But Mr. Truman will do everything he can in the field of world collaboration for peace.

Close ties to Congress

And the new president will look to Congress for advice more quickly than Mr. Roosevelt did. He is legislatively minded with a flair for friendship among legislators. This promises for a time, at least, enormously better relations between the White House and Capitol Hill.

Homely and colloquial in conversation, Mr. Truman expresses himself about as your neighbor might. One of his most recent informal remarks on post-war problems went like this:

There’s nothing I can do about it because I’m a political eunuch (he rated the influence of the vice presidency pretty low). But I’d do anything in the world I could to prevent another war.

The new President is expected to translate that pledge into action by maintaining the closest possible association with the Senate – all the Senate – as the San Francisco conferees negotiate toward agreement. The man from Missouri knows his Senate inside out.

Likes a drink

There should be nothing stiff or formal about his conferences with his former colleagues. If anyone is to be shocked by it, they may as well know now that the President of the United States likes a drink before lunch – a good stiff one. And if the company is good, he’ll take two – a bird can’t fly on one wing.

There’ll be many a pre-luncheon conference at the White House in the next four years which should avoid many a bruising battle on the floor of House or Senate.

Changes to be slow

With Mr. Truman, any changes will be slow. His inclination is expected to be to listen more to Democratic conservatives than Mr. Roosevelt ever would do. But he knows and likes many of the left wingers, too. Even Hopkins, one of the most controversial Roosevelt administration figures, may be expected to be around for some time.

Mr. Hopkins has been the late President’s confidante in great matters of state. He has known the secrets that Mr. Stettinius on occasion has blushed for not knowing. Possessing the knowledge that he does, Hopkins may be indispensable to Mr. Truman for a time. They are alike in some ways. It could be that a partnership would develop, but if so, it would be on Mr. Truman’s terms.

What of Cabinet?

There are Washingtonians who feel the new President is not favorably inclined toward all of Mr. Roosevelt’s Cabinet personnel. But the professional military and naval command of the war is believed to be on the job for the duration. Adm. William D. Leahy should make as excellent a chief of staff for President Truman as for President Roosevelt.

Col. Harry Vaughn will become a powerful White House figure now. He was a World War I buddy of Mr. Truman’s and presently is his military aide. Hugh Fulton was counsel of the “Truman Committee” which plowed up so many of the war effort’s errors and made the new President a sufficient national figure to be chosen last summer to be Mr. Roosevelt’s running mate. Mr. Fulton will be appearing around the White House any time now.

Hannegan is popular

Democratic National Committee Chairman Robert E. Hannegan is another man to watch. It was Mr. Hannegan who broke the news to Mr. Roosevelt last spring that he would avoid a lot of trouble if he would scuttle Vice President Wallace for the 1944 campaign. Mr. Hannegan managed the floor fight that nominated Mr. Truman. Furthermore, it was Mr. Hannegan who helped Mr. Roosevelt make up his mind that Mr. Truman was the man he wanted. Mr. Hannegan and Mr. Truman are fellow Missourians. If there is anything within the President’s gift that Mr. Hannegan wants – such as the postmaster generalship, for instance – like as not the chairman could have it.

The political firm of Truman, Hannegan & Co. is not the one with which the CIO-Communist-Left-wing elements of the late President Roosevelt’s party would prefer to do business. So far as is known, Sidney Hillman of the CIO’s Political Action Committee has not met Mr. Truman since the bruising day on which he was nominated for Vice President in Chicago.

Charges recalled

That nomination came amid charges that it was being obtained by unfair means.

“Shady city bossism,” shouted the CIO’s Richard T. Frankensteen from the convention floor, “has even less place in international affairs than in American life.”

Frankensteen was talking about Hannegan and the candidate – Mr. Truman. Perhaps he was alluding to the fact that the new President got his political start under the guidance of old Tom Pendergast, the Missouri boss who died the other day, a paroled felon.

His Pendergast beginnings have been thrown at Mr. Truman from every angle. He never denied them once. Instead, he defended the old man on any and all occasions. Long after Pendergast was disgraced, the new President was his champion. When Pendergast died, Mr. Truman sped to his funeral. and he made no secret of that. When the term of Maurice Milligan, U.S. attorney in Missouri, was expiring this year. Mr. Truman proposed that he be supplanted by another. It was Milligan who sent Old Tom to prison. The President of the United States does not forget his friends.

Record cited

Four lines in the Congressional Directory tell all that Mr. Truman cared to put there as a permanent record of his life and times. His associates attribute that partly, even largely, to modesty. Party it is attributed to the fact that Mr. Truman’s career was not distinguished until 1936.

He had a good World War I record and is proud of it. A little black book contains the names and addresses of most of the men with whom he served in France. He had country jobs from the Jackson County Pendergast machine and he once went broke as a haberdasher. He’d tell you that, himself.

On November 6, 1934, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. On November 5, 1940, he was elected again. Somewhere along there the man who couldn’t sell shirts and collars became a better than run-of-the-mill good senator. He wasn’t tops, but he was good.

Committee work recalled

As chairman of the Senate Committee to Investigate War Production, Mr. Truman undertook to prevent in this war some of the stupidities, inefficiencies and scandals of World War I, Newspaper reporters made it the “Truman Committee.” The Truman Committee made headlines. The Senator became a national figure and a political asset to his party. His committee did a good job along with the mistakes it made.

Mr. Truman was never a 100 percent New Dealer. But he usually went along. As a freshman in 1937, he was in the minority that tried to impose penalties on sit-down strikers. He voted to override Mr. Roosevelt’s Farm Loan Bill veto, but voted against killing the Roosevelt Supreme Court Reorganization Bill. He supported the administration’s Wage-Hour Bill.

He helped to shelve the Anti-Lynching Bull in 1938, but supported Mr. Roosevelt’s Government Reorganization Bill. He ducked votes here and there in his legislative career, as for instance a bill to bar political job-holders from political conventions. Even a Pendergast machine could not survive that kind of legislation.

In general, on domestic issues, Mr. Truman voted considerably more often for Mr. Roosevelt than against him and he almost always supported the Administration in foreign affairs through the difficult problems of neutrality and on the explosive peacetime question of conscription.

Had a premonition

Mr. Truman had a fearful premonition that he might succeed to the presidency. The thought dismayed him. It was not so much that he underrated himself, but he knew the shape and scope of the presidency and like many another man would not believe it could be approached except in anxious humility.

Out in Missouri a very old lady was thinking that way, too.

“We are praying,” she said, “that God will guide him–.”

The President of the United States will join Mrs. Martha Truman, his 92-year-old mother, in that prayer.

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Thanks for posting, he was only 63 years old. And the radiobroadcast explains what happens “now”. The job of VP is gone and the next in line is a whopping 76 years old. Wow!!

Hopefully we will get only Younger Presidents in future!
Wait? …

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Yes… Hopefully they don’t forget their speeches.


Roll of drums starts body on way home

Church bell peals in country steeple
By Merriman Smith, United Press staff writer

How to place flag at half-mast

All flags displayed by civilians should be flown at half-mast for 30 days – the same period as that being observed by the Army – in mourning the death of President Roosevelt, Army officials in Pittsburgh announced today.

In raising a flag to half-mast, they said, the flag should first be hoisted to the top of the mast and then lowered gently to half-mast. In lowering the flag at sundown, it should be raised from its half-mast position to the top of the staff and then lowered completely.

Where flags are fastened to masts and cannot be raised or lowered, the Army official said that civilians should attach black ribbon streamers, about half the length of the flag. These, it was pointed out, should be placed at the top of the staff directly under the ball or eagle, and left to hang down and fly with the colors.

WARM SPRINGS, Georgia – The body of Franklin D. Roosevelt today was borne from the “Little White House” in Georgia to the roll of muffled drums, starting the long, last journey to Washington.

The hot Southern sun shone in a blue sky as the funeral cortege left the green hills the President loved so well. The procession moved slowly down the winding mile-long road to Warm Springs station.

Church bell peals

In the distance a church bell pealed from some country steeple.

The cortege left the “Little White House” at 10:30 a.m. Along the road stood hundreds of residents of the President’s “Other Home.” They bared their heads and stood in silence as the cortege passed.

First came the U.S. Army Band from nearby Ft. Benning, Georgia. The roll of its muffled drums tied softly over the countryside in the still, warm air.

Behind the band marched 1,000 infantrymen, led by three companies of carbine-carrying troops, followed by riflemen. Their colors flew black streamers to signify the mourning of the nation.

Troops present arms

Then came the hearse bearing the President’s body in a copper-lined, flag-draped mahogany casket.

As the troops reached the little station across the tracks from the Warm Springs Hotel and the little row of Warm Springs stores and business buildings, they deployed into company front and presented arms.

Honor guard afoot

Behind the hearse and at each flank was the Honor Guard of high naval officers, afoot. Next came Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, dressed im black, with a fur cape. She sat stiffly upright, outwardly composed as she has been throughout.

With Mrs. Roosevelt rode Fala. He sat quietly at Mrs. Roosevelt’s feet, apparently sensing that Something was wrong – what, he could not quite know.

Along the route, troops – overseas veterans – stood at attention. Many of them cried openly as they stood rigidly presenting arms.

The cortege wound through the pleasant grounds of the Warm Springs Foundation. Some two hours before the faint beat of the drums signaled the approach of the cortege, the patients – like Mr. Roosevelt, victims of infantile paralysis – had hobbled out in front of the main dormitory. Some were wheeled by their nurses.

Frank and open sorrow

In a semi-circle they watched the cortege pass. Here there were tears, and frank and open sorrow.

A thirteen-year-old, Jay Fribourg, said: “I love him so much.” He clenched his teeth to keep back the sobs.

Chief Petty Officer Graham Jackson, a Georgia Negro who was a favorite of the President’s, stepped from the circle of mourners. He had his accordion which he had often played for Mr. Roosevelt.

As the cortege approached, he lifted the accordion and played the haunting strains of Dvorak’s “Going Home” from the New World Symphony. Then he played “Nearer My God to Thee.”

Standing there, too, was old Tom Logan. For 14 years he had been Mr. Roosevelt’s waiter at Warm Springs. His chin trembling and his shoulders shaking, the white-haired Negro watched the body of his friend pass by.

“Lord God, take care of him now,” said Logan.

Slowly the procession passed on. The victims of the malady with whom Mr. Roosevelt had a special bond watched it disappear in the distance.

Casket put on train

At 10:55 a.m. the President’s casket was placed aboard the train by eight enlisted men, the picked Body Guard for the last journey.

Mrs. Roosevelt, accompanied by the President’s two cousins, Miss Laura Delano and Miss Margaret Suckley, and Grace Tully, the President’s secretary, boarded the train.

The train was the same as the President’s usual special, with one extra car, making 11 cars in all.

As the troops in their olive drab stood at attention and the townsfolk of Warm Springs bared their heads, the train pulled out at 11:13 a.m.

Crowd stands silently

The crowd stood silently as the train gathered speed and rumbled northward along the tracks. Finally, it rounded a bend and all that could be seen was a thin trail of black smoke.

Even then the townsfolk and the troops stood silently as the Georgia sun beat down more strongly. Then, in little knots the crowd broke up.

The Army troops broke rank and clambered into the buses that were to take them back to Ft. Benning.

Townsfolk strolled to their homes and businesses. Farmers climbed into their cabs for the drive back. For the last time the President had left Warm Springs.

The train will make a slow run to Washington. It is scheduled to arrive in the capital’s Union Station at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Death struck at 4:35 p.m.

Mrs. Roosevelt, bearing her sorrow bravely, flew here to make the sad journey with the body back to Washington.

The President died at 4:35 p.m. ET yesterday of a cerebral hemorrhage that struck him 2½ hours earlier. Death came to him in a small bedroom of “The Little White House” at the Warm Springs Foundation, his “other home.” He was 63.

Funeral services will be held in the East Room of the White House at 4 p.m. tomorrow. At 10 p.m. the funeral party will leave Washington by train for the ancestral Roosevelt estate on the Hudson at Hyde Park, New York. It will arrive there at 9 a.m. Sunday.

The President, will be buried at 10 a.m. Sunday in the sunlit garden between his Hyde Park home and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library – a garden bordered by a hemlock hedge and a profusion of rose bushes.

First Lady ‘heroic’

Until the burial, the President’s body will be guarded 24 hours a day by sentries chosen from enlisted men of the Navy, the Army and the Marine Corps.

White House Secretary Stephen T. Early, who accompanied Mrs. Roosevelt here from Washington, said she bore her grief “very nobly – in fact, she was heroic.”

Shortly after she reached the Little White House, Mrs. Roosevelt went into seclusion. Previously, however, she had discussed the funeral plans with members of the staff and reached quick, clear-cut decisions for the simple rites which she felt the President would have wanted.

Staff works on

All through last night the President’s staff worked at a feverish pace for “The Boss,” as they called him. Hundreds of Warm Springs and Meriwether County neighbors wanted to stop by and shake a hand and offer a word of consolation, but Marine and Secret Service guards stopped them at the gates to the Foundation.

While Mr. Roosevelt lay dying yesterday, a large party of his friends were waiting in innocence for him to appear at an old-fashioned barbecue given by Mayor Frank Allcorn of Warm Springs. The Brunswick stew was bubbling in a huge cook pot, country fiddlers were playing “The Cat and the Chicken,” and everyone was on his toes for the Chief Executive’s arrival.

He was supposed to have been there at 4:30 and when he didn’t arrive at that scheduled moment, someone called the Little White House switchboard to ask what the trouble was. At the same moment, Louise Hackmeister, the President’s personal telephone operator. Reached Mr. Allcorn’s cottage with the news.

Truman becomes President in simple ceremonies

Oath is administered in Cabinet room by Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone

WASHINGTON (UP) – The gray-haired man with the gold-rimmed spectacles walked into the awesome confusion that was the White House and into the most momentous hour of his life.

He came in as Vice President Harry S. Truman and he walked out again as the 32nd President of the United States.

He stepped around reporters eager for more news of the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He walked past red-eyed secretaries and stenographers who couldn’t believe the news. He moved quickly through the glare of photographers’ flashlight bulbs.

He made his way into the apple-green Cabinet Room of the White House. Cabinet members were seated there, solemn-faced. Leaders of Congress were there, too. They stood in groups, talking quietly.

Harry S. Truman sat down in an overstuffed leather chair. It was understandable that he was not completely at ease. Then up stepped Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone of the United States.

The Vice President got to his feet. Someone gave him a Bible from President Roosevelt’s office.

He held it reverentially on his left palm. His right hand was on the cover. The clock on the mantlepiece pointed to 7:05 p.m. Three minutes later, the Chief Justice began administering the oath of office.

I, Harry Shippe Truman, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The Chief Justice recited the oath from memory. The new President repeated the words after him, phrase by phrase.

But when he came to his name, he said, “Harry S. Truman.” He did not use the name “Shippe,” and persons who know him well said that was because he really has no middle name; that he was christened plain Harry Truman and adopted the letter “S” when he was grown up because it looked and sounded better.

It was 7:08 p.m. when Harry S. Truman became the 32nd President of the United States.

No Roosevelts present

Not a member of the Roosevelt family was present at the ceremony. When it was over, the official witnesses shook his hand, whispered words of courage and congratulations. There was no backslapping. There were no smiles.

Three reporters were present, representing the three press associations.

Mr. Truman was there too, a proud wife and mother who a few moments before had dabbed at tear-stained eyes with a crumpled handkerchief. Her hand held that of their 20-year-old daughter, Mary Margaret. Both stood in the background as the oath was administered. They were just spectators.

Wallace is there

One of the witnesses was the man who might have been in Mr. Truman’s place had the political fates been different – former Vice President Henry A. Wallace. Mr. Wallace, who will remain in President Truman’s Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce, was so shaken that Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius had to help him from the room.

Mrs. Roosevelt was 11 blocks away at a “Thrift Club” meeting when Secretary Stephen T. Early telephoned and asked her to return to the White House as soon as possible.

Mr. Early and Vice Adm. Ross T. McIntire, the President’s physician, brought the tragic news to her sitting room.

The President “has slipped away,” they told her.

Mr. Early then telephoned Mr. Truman and asked him to come to the White House. Ten minutes later, he heard the news from Mrs. Roosevelt. She told him Mr. Roosevelt had “passed away.”

“What can I do?” he exclaimed.

“Tell us what we can do,” replied Mrs. Roosevelt. “Is there anything we can do to help you?”

Someone suggested that Mr. Truman summon the Cabinet.

He did.

Later, following the oath-taking, President Truman went home to his five-room apartment on Connecticut Avenue for a night’s rest.

Civilization’s hope –
Roosevelt’s last speech released

Plea for world to live together quoted

WASHINGTON (UP) – If Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to address the Jefferson Day Dinner here tonight, he would have told his listeners that all of the peoples of the world must learn to live together in peace if civilization is to survive.

The last public address Mr. Roosevelt prepared was ready for delivery when he died. In it, he revealed his great concern for the pattern of the world’s future when hostilities end.

The nation, he said, does not intend to abandon its determination that there shall be no third world war.

Mr. Roosevelt wrote:

We seek peace – enduring peace.

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars – yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling differences between governments.

But the mere conquest of our enemies is not enough.

Today we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace.

The work ahead, Mr. Roosevelt wrote, is peace.

He wrote:

Today, as we move against the terrible scourge of war as we go forward to the greatest contribution that any generation of human beings can make in this world, the contribution of lasting peace, I ask you to keep up your faith.

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.

The late President pointed to the lesson the nation learned in the time of Thomas Jefferson, another great American President his audience was to have gathered to honor. That lesson, he said, was that America could not avoid the consequences of attacks by the Barbary Coast Corsairs.

Recognizing the nearness of military victory and its significance on peace plans, Mr. Roosevelt wrote:

The once-powerful, malignant Nazi state is crumbling. The Japanese warlords are receiving, in their own homeland, the retribution for which they asked when they attacked Pearl Harbor.

We must go on to do all in our power to conquer the doubts and the fears, the ignorance and the greed, which made this horror possible.

Death of Roosevelt casts mourning pall over city

Schools dismissed – city offices shut – theaters, stores close Saturday – plants open
Friday, April 13, 1945

The Pittsburgh District joined the nation today in mourning the death of President Roosevelt.

City and parochial schools suspended all classes. County schools convened this morning, but were dismissed after “appropriate services.”

Duquesne University discontinued classes, while both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Tech adjourned classes at noon today after memorial services.

The Retail Merchants’ Association announced this afternoon that the large department stores would be closed all day Saturday.

The East Liberty Chamber of Commerce announced late this afternoon that the large stores in that section of the city will follow the example set by the downtown merchants.

State liquor stores will remain closed all day at the order of Gov. Martin. Warner, Harris, Fulton and Loew’s theaters will be closed tomorrow as well as most of the independent “neighborhood” theaters.

Mayor Scully said he had been told by Louis Little, attorney for the Cafe Owners’ Association, that all cafés in the area have withdrawn their floor shows for tonight and tomorrow. The cafés will be closed during the time of the President’s funeral services tomorrow.

Members of the Allegheny County Retail Druggists’ Association will close their stores from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. tomorrow.

In Pittsburgh, all City and County offices closed today, in addition to the Superior, Orphans’, Common Pleas and Criminal Courts. Federal Court adjourned shortly before noon. All courts will resume sessions Monday.

There was no cessation of activity in the humming war plants, for despite the President’s death, both the management and labor knew that the task of forging the weapons of war must go on.

Fourteen mines in this area were shut down as miners paid tribute to the President.

Scores of affairs scheduled for tonight and over the weekend were postponed or cancelled by clubs and other organizations. Nearly all churches planned memorial services.

Carnegie Library branches will close tomorrow afternoon during the funeral services. The main library in Schenley Park will remain open.

Collector of Internal Revenue Stanley Granger announced that the two Pittsburgh offices of his bureau in the Federal Building and 715 Penn Avenue and 15 branch offices will close at noon tomorrow instead of 5 p.m.

Truman proclaims mourning period

WASHINGTON (UP) – President Truman today proclaimed Saturday as a day of mourning and prayer throughout the United States in respect to the late Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The presidential proclamation was issued by Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius. At the same time, by order of the President, Mr. Stettinius ordered that:

  • Flags to remain at half-mast on all public buildings of the United States for one month – until the close of Monday, May 14.

  • All executive departments and agencies of the government be closed tomorrow afternoon – the day of the funeral.

If you ever pray, pray for me, Truman pleads

WASHINGTON (UP) – President Harry S. Truman said to reporters in the Capitol today: “Boys, if you ever pray, pray for me now.”

The honest, earnest little Missourian left a meeting with Congressional leaders to shake hands with reporters he had known as Senator and Vice President.

“You boys of the press have been good to me,” he said.

When a reporter addressed him as “Mr. President,” he smiled wistfully, and said: “I wish you’d never had to call me that.”

President’s death numbs Pittsburghers

First report greeted with much skepticism
Friday, April 13, 1945

Sometimes, when you’re seriously Injured, it doesn’t hurt much at first – and that’s the way Pittsburgh reacted to the first news of the President’s death last night.

The news swept across the city like wildfire during the dinner hour. Some heard it on their way home from work, and others as they were getting an early start for an evening’s entertainment.

Finally realize it

Most were incredulous, “Why, he hadn’t even been sick!” they exclaimed. But it shortly became apparent that the report was all too true.

Not knowing what else to do, men and women continued with what they were doing. Along the streets, it wasn’t apparent that a world-shaking event had taken place.

Only in the privacy of homes were tears allowed to flow.

Talk gravely of tragedy

Downtown, in hotel lobbies and on street corners, small groups of men talked gravely about what the tragedy meant to the country. The name Truman seemed to be on every tongue.

From one of these groups came the words: “It was almost like Lincoln’s death. He saw his work practically completed.”

The parking lot attendant, bringing out your car, murmured, “Didja hear about the President dying? Too bad!”

The girl at the cigar counter told customers, excitedly, “I liked to have dropped when I heard the news.”

Talk of new President

In the bustling lobby of Hotel William Penn, men gathered in groups to discuss the tragic news. Already their thoughts were turning to the new president,

“What kind of a President do you think Truman will make?” … “They should yank Stettinius out of the Secretary of State and make him President” … “Who becomes Vice President – Stettinius?” … “Nah! The Senate’ll elect him” … “We won’t have a Vice President for four years” … “The President pro tem of the Senate will serve as Vice President.”

Endless arguing, speculation, conjecturing.

Some didn’t relieve news

There was shocked disbelief that Franklin D. Roosevelt was dead.

On the street… “When did it happen?” … “One o’clock in the afternoon” … “No, I heard it was 1:35” … “No, you’re both wrong, it was 3:35.”

A man made a hasty call to his wife to break the news.

“Whatya doin’ – pullin’ one of your lousy jokes?”

Judge reads tribute

More than 650 persons packed into the Wilham Penn ballroom stood in silence while Judge Alexander Cooper read the lines penned by Walt Whitman after the death of Abraham Lincoln:

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

The 650 attended the annual dinner of the Allegheny County Chapter, Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association. A year ago at the same organization’s dinner the apeaker was the then Sen. Harry S. Truman, now President of the United States.

As the evening wore on, the full import of the tragedy began to dawn on everyone. Telephone lines were jammed with calls made to talk it over, or to newspaper offices and other centers of information.

Questions fly fast

“Who will become Vice President?” they asked, and “How long should flags be kept at half-staff?” and “Should I close my place of business?”

The thing had been so unexpected that few restaurants, taverns and places of amusement were closed last night. Hours after the first word was received, there were few outward signs of mourning in the city.

In the hearts and minds of the City’s residents, however, you knew that memorial services were being conducted for this man who had been their national leader through a dozen troubled years.

His monument

The teeming Hill District, where thousands have benefited from the reforms Mr. Roosevelt sponsored, was quieter than usual. Folks sat on their doorsteps and talked about the thing that had happened.

One elderly man gazed thoughtfully at the lighted buildings of the Terrace Village housing project and observed – “That will be his monument.”

Truman decides to hold ‘Frisco parley as planned

President urges world security organization be erected as memorial to Roosevelt

WASHINGTON (UP) – Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius Jr. today called in the British, Russian and Chinese ambassadors to confirm to them President Truman’s decision that the San Francisco conference on world security will be held as scheduled April 25.

Mr. Stettinius was expected to express officially to the representatives President Truman’s intention that the San Francisco structure shall be erected, as planned, as a memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

British Ambassador Earl Halifax, Soviet Ambassador Andrei A. Gromyko, and Chinese Ambassador Wei Tao-ming were to meet with Mr. Stettinius at noon. They constitute the preliminary steering committee for the meeting.

To affirm policy

The U.S. Secretary of State, it was believed, will convey to them Mr. Truman’s intention that the San Francisco gathering shall constitute an immediate affirmation of the continuity of U.S. foreign policy and of his support of the peace structure of which Mr. Roosevelt was one of the major architects.

His great collaborators – Premier Joseph Stalin and Prime Minister Winston Churchill – described him on his death as the world leader in the cause of ensuring security for the whole world.

Mr. Roosevelt, who had done so much to prepare the United States this time to take its proper place in the new organization and to avoid the mistakes of 1920, had planned to address the opening session at San Francisco.

His sudden death will not delay the conference. His name and his thoughts still will dominate the opening meeting. Representatives of the United Nations vowed within hours of his death that the memory of his vision, courage, statesmanship and leadership would inspire them in the task of building world peace.

Had two objectives

Mr. Roosevelt devoted the last years of his life to two great objectives: (1) Winning the ears; (2) Building the foundation for an international accord that would give some assurance of lasting peace.

Accomplishment of the first objective was in sight before he died. The crucial test for the second one begins – as scheduled – 12 days from today in San Francisco.

The first question which arose after the shock of Mr. Roosevelt’s death had passed was: “Will the conference go on.”

First Truman decision

It was the first major decision President Truman had to make. And less than an hour after he had taken the presidential oath, he made it, Mr. Stettinius announced: “With the authority of President Truman, I wish to announce that the San Francisco conference will open on April 25 as planned.”

One high official explained it this way: “Just as the war must go on, so must the planning to prevent another one.”

The sentiment of those who will represent the United States at the conference, as well as the representatives of the other United Nations, was: “Carry on.”

Trumans await convenience of Mrs. Roosevelt

WASHINGTON (UP) – It’s not known just when the Truman family will move into the White House. But President Harry S. Truman went to work this morning in the mansion’s executive wing where the business of the nation’s Chief Executive is carried on.

Occupation of the White House living quarters by President and Mrs. Truman and their 20-year-old daughter, Mary Margaret, will await the convenience of Mrs. Roosevelt. It will take time to move out the Roosevelt family’s personal possessions.

Mrs. Roosevelt promised to give the new First Lady every possible assistance in becoming adjusted to her duties in the White House. Her 12 years’ experience should stand Mrs. Truman in good stead.

Stalin lauds Roosevelt as peace pioneer

Russians grieved – news brings tears

MOSCOW (UP) – Marshal Joseph Stalin hailed President Roosevelt in death today as “a great politician of world significance and a pioneer in the organization of peace and security after the war.”

Russians hearing the first word of Mr. Roosevelt’s death were stunned and deeply grieved. Their reaction was believed representative of the masses, as well as their highest leaders.

The Russians never forgot the fact that Mr. Roosevelt was the first President to recognize the Soviet regime.

Mr. Roosevelt’s and Marshal Stalin’s personalities clicked at the Tehran and Yalta conferences. They understood one another perfectly, parted genuine friends, and kept up extensive cable correspondence.

Won hearts of Russians

Once between sessions at Yalta, the two with an interpreter alone sat on a beach facing the Black Sea waves, chatting about everything but politics. Few if any foreign dignitaries could have had a similar session with Marshal Stalin.

Mr. Roosevelt’s warmth and simple manner won the hearts of every Russian on his personal staff at Yalta. His chambermaid, a 60-year-old peasant woman named Fenya who works on the third floor of the Hotel Metropole here, said the President was “such a dear, fine. sympathetic man.”

Fenya wept when she heard of Mr. Roosevelt’s death, as did several others of the Metropole staff who served the President.

Sends messages

Marshal Stalin’s tribute to Mr. Roosevelt was expressed in messages he sent to Mrs. Roosevelt and President Truman. That to Mrs. Roosevelt said:

Please accept my sincere condolence on the occasion of the death of your husband, and my expression of my sincere sympathy in your great sorrow.

The Soviet people highly valued President Roosevelt as a great organizer of the struggle of freedom-loving nations against the common enemy and a leader in the cause of insuring security for the whole world.

‘A great politician’

To President Truman, he messaged:

On behalf of the Soviet government and myself personally, I want to express profound condolence to the Government of the United States of America on the occasion of the premature death of President Roosevelt.

The American people and the United Nations have lost, in Franklin Roosevelt, a great politician of world significance and a pioneer in the organization of peace and security after the war.

The government of the Soviet Union expresses its sincere sympathy for the American people in their great loss, and their conviction that policy of friendship between the great powers who have shouldered the main burden of war against the common enemy will continue to develop in the future.