Franklin D. Roosevelt

Remarks at the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, Warm Springs, Georgia.

November 28, 1935

Members of the Warm Springs family:

This is a great surprise to all of us except the Committee themselves, and I know that I can speak not only for the old-timers, but for the young-timers, in saying that we, the members of the Warm Springs family, are made very happy in having with us for all time this portrait of our beloved Dr. Hubbard.

It has been the custom, at former dinners—I have a guilty feeling myself—to tell many anecdotes of former years. I am not going to talk about the past tonight, except to say that I am glad that there are so many of the original family still with us. May they always come to these annual parties!

I want to say, tonight, just a word about the present and the future. As you know, our work, year by year, is spreading-spreading all over the country. This past year we have gone into almost every community of the land; and because of a certain Birthday Party that was held last January, the good people of this country contributed over a million dollars to the cause of fighting infantile paralysis. It was a fine thing that people did in all of our communities, and I think that we should make it very clear that of that million dollars, not one penny came to us here at Warm Springs.

Seventy percent of it, seven hundred thousand dollars, has been used and is being used today to help young people and middle-aged people and old people get well in their own respective communities in every State of the Union. And—equally important, I think—the other 30 percent of that splendid gift has been distributed by a very distinguished committee of doctors to be used in a dozen different places in research work to find out, for the benefit of future generations, how best we can stop in our country the spread of these epidemics that are almost annual occurrences.

One of the members of this Committee mentioned to me the other day, at the White House, that for the first time in all medical history, so far as he knew, research into one definite known problem is adequately financed. Every scientist, who is engaged in this research work, has been able to come to this Committee and to the Warm Springs Foundation and obtain sufficient funds to carry on the work that he is doing.

I feel very happy about the contribution that the Foundation has made and is making in extending our work and fighting in every part of the country one of our most serious epidemic diseases.

As to our own problems here, I think you probably know more about them than I do. As I come back year after year, unfortunately only once a year nowadays, I find that more improvements have been made; and this year is no exception.

I can assure you that the Trustees, most of whom, I am glad to say, are here tonight, are meeting often, are giving their time and their thought to the program for the future years here at Warm Springs. That is why I am very confident that, in addition to the work we are doing now, as the years go by we are going to do even more important work not only here, but everywhere in this country and, may I say, in Canada too.

I am glad I shall be with you another ten days. This has been a very wonderful trip and a very wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for me. This is a real family party. It still breathes a certain something which newcomers do not quite understand until they have been here for a week or two; but it gets them all—the old spirit of Warm Springs.

And now, in accordance with a very old custom, I am going to stand by the door because I want to shake hands with you as you go out.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Remarks at the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, Warm Springs, Georgia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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