“This Was His Georgia”: Polio, Poverty and Public Memory at FDR's Little White House

John A. Lynch, Mary Stuckey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Franklin D. Roosevelt is strongly connected to his “Little White House” (LWH) in Warm Springs, Georgia. The sites constituting the LWH articulate a public memory of FDR where Warm Springs is central to understanding the president's character and accomplishments. As a result of these choices the narrative developed at the LWH deflects attention from racism, the state's history of segregation, and FDR's own poor record on civil rights, and it recenters FDR's encounters with polio victims and the White rural poor as central to his transformation into what the site calls a “man of the people” who championed the New Deal. The memory work at this site illuminates the ways in which historical sites are reflections of the politics of those who manage them and indicates the ways in which the past seeps into the present as well as how the present influences our understanding of the past.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-404
Number of pages15
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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