Franklin D. Roosevelt

Address by Radio for the Third Birthday Ball for the Benefit of Crippled Children.

January 30, 1936

Tonight, on my fifty-fourth anniversary, I am very happy because Colonel Doherty, Carl Byoir and Keith Morgan tell me that their reports indicate that this year's celebration, in the interest of continued efforts against infantile paralysis, will exceed our fondest hopes of success. Tonight in every State and in every outlying territory of our Nation many millions of people are enjoying themselves at all kinds of local parties. They have resolutely aligned themselves to carry on the fight against infantile paralysis until this dread and costly disease is brought under definite and final control.

Ten years ago it was made possible for me, with the support of many personal friends, to start the work of the Warm Springs Foundation in Georgia and I dedicated it to one purpose—to apply itself to the task and to keep everlastingly on the job, not by itself alone but with the cooperation of the doctors, the orthopedic hospitals and those thousands of individuals on whose shoulders falls the brunt of caring for several hundred thousands of the afflicted.

No single agency, whether it be the doctor, the hospital or the research laboratory, can cope individually with this great problem; we can do it only by joining our efforts.

Without your local committees the National Committee could not function. You tonight who are attending these celebrations, and you who are in your homes, have greatly helped to make a reality of what was once only a hope. In nearly seven thousand communities you are helping to produce concrete results by making it possible for large numbers of those who suffer from physical handicap caused by infantile paralysis to receive aid and assistance. The lives of these people, young and old, will be made easier. Through rehabilitation by far the greater part of them will become more mobile and will take their places in active life once again with their heads lifted high and their courage unabated.

I am confident that each local committee will work out, with the best medical advice, plans for the wise administering of the 70 percent of the funds which, as a result of this year's Birthday parties, will remain in your community for expenditure.

The 30 percent of the funds which you will send to the National Committee will be used by the Foundation to intensify the national part which it is playing in building up the national fight. I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Jeremiah Milbank, Dr. Paul de Kruif and the other members of the Research Commission, and all those who with them are administering the research activities in connection with the work.

With full confidence and faith in the success we are already attaining. I rededicate the Foundation to the task which lies ahead.

I wish I could look into your faces tonight. You have made me very happy, more happy than I can express in words. Though I cannot be with you, I want each and every one of you to know and feel that I deeply and sincerely appreciate all that you have done for the cause, all of the inspiration which you have applied to it. I am especially grateful not only to the National Committee but to the local chairmen of the local committees who have worked so hard, and also to the press, to the radio, and to the newsreels which have visualized for the whole country the need and the reasons for this great national campaign.

To several hundred thousand victims of infantile paralysis I send very personal greetings, especially to the youngsters among them whose lives lie ahead of them. It is on their behalf that I thank you once more.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address by Radio for the Third Birthday Ball for the Benefit of Crippled Children. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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