Warm Springs soothed his body and restored his spirit. Franklin D. Roosevelt made his first visit to the healing waters on this day in 1924.
Roosevelt contracted polio three years earlier and traveled to Warm Springs on the advice of George Foster Peabody, his friend and part–owner of the springs. He visited 41 times. Other polio patients soon followed.
Roosevelt invested his own money into a treatment center, and in 1927 founded what is now the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. As president, FDR usually visited in the spring and at Thanksgiving, and the home he built there became known as “The Little White House.” He died there in 1945.
Roosevelt's "can–do" attitude inspired other patients and was embodied in the "Spirit of Warm Springs": the belief that polio victims could lead full and productive lives.
The president's efforts to raise money for polio research became the foundation for the March of Dimes. The Spirit of Warm Springs continues as part of the enduring legacy of the man who first went there on October 3, 1924, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.