Franklin D. Roosevelt

Remarks at Asheville, N.C.

September 10, 1936

Yesterday and today I am carrying out a promise to myself made nearly thirty years ago, because it was nearly thirty years ago that I was last in Asheville. In those days I said to myself that I wanted to come back. I wanted to see all this marvelous country and go up into these Great Smoky Mountains. I suppose in those days I could not have gotten there in an automobile or even in a horse and buggy.

So I came on this pleasure trip, and it has been a pleasure every single minute. I have been tremendously impressed with what we are doing in opening up the Smokies through this great national park. I am not the only one impressed, because the number of visitors up there in the park has so far outstripped road building and facilities that it is a problem as to how to handle the people.

As some of you perhaps know, there is nothing in Nature I am as fond of as a tree. Here in North Carolina and across the line in Tennessee we have without question the most wonderful tree growth in all the United States—trees that perhaps are not quite so big as some of the trees of the Pacific Coast, but I am told by all the experts and scientists- you might call them brain trusters—that there are more varieties of trees and shrubbery and flowers down here than anywhere else.

I hope to come back in the years to come, either as a Government servant or as a private citizen—it makes very little difference which. I want to come back and spend some time seeing the new roads that are going to be opened, seeing more of this wonderful part of the United States. And I am quite sure that millions of other Americans are going to come down here, as I want to come, and spend more time. So you might just as well get ready now to receive them.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Remarks at Asheville, N.C. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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