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Old 16 July 2013, 03:44 AM
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United States The Myth of Roosevelt's Wheelchair

Roosevelt Historian Matthew Pressman debunks the myth around the newly discovered footage of FDR in his wheelchair.

http://www.time.com/time/video/playe...147398,00.html
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  #2  
Old 16 July 2013, 08:41 PM
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Really don't know that the cite shows the "gentleman's agreement" was a myth. It may well be what some publishers followed it while others needed a bit less "gentlemanly" encouragement (like confiscating cameras and film).
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Old 16 July 2013, 09:05 PM
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My mother was a young woman during FDR's presidency. During the late 1970s, my high school history class discussed FDR's disability. I was the first of her four children to learn this, and she vigorously disputed it for years. She even insisted that photos of him standing at a lectern proved his legs weren't paralyzed, even though she had a nephew who used leg braces and she knew how they work (they lock at the knees).

Her insistence really took me aback -- she tended not to be emotionally invested in anything to do with government or politics, for religious reasons. When there was controversy about his memorial a few years back, the topic came up again, and she was very matter-of-fact about it, but that was 30 years after our original conversations on the topic.
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Old 16 July 2013, 11:26 PM
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I know that when I visited Hyde Park in the 60s, one of his wheelchairs was on prominent display, with a placard pointing out it had no arms to make it easier to get on and off it.
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Old 17 July 2013, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
I know that when I visited Hyde Park in the 60s, one of his wheelchairs was on prominent display, with a placard pointing out it had no arms to make it easier to get on and off it.
That seems odd, usually arms make it easier to get in and out of a chair. I would think the lack or arms was because the arms would be visible in a photo. Without the wheelchair arms he would just appear to be sitting.
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Old 17 July 2013, 03:51 PM
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Depends on whether you're getting in/being lifted in from the front or the side.
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Old 17 July 2013, 03:57 PM
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Ah, good point, particularly if he often slid into the wheelchair from other chairs.

I wonder when collapsing arms for wheelchairs were invented?
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Old 17 July 2013, 03:59 PM
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IDK. I do know we bumped Mom's bum/hip into the arms of her wheelchair a few times.
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Old 18 July 2013, 01:01 PM
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Here's a photo of the chair.
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  #10  
Old 19 July 2013, 01:27 AM
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I toured Hyde Park a few weeks ago. The guide said he actually had a huge amount of upper body strength, and worked out every day. He also had some movement in his lower limbs, so he was able to help himself a bit that way, too. He didn't really need arms.

We saw the elevator he had installed in his home, too. It was basically a glorified dumb waiter. He would wheel in, close the door, and pull the rope himself to move it up or down. He was the only nd controlling the dumb waiter. To be able to do that...well, lets just say, totally believe the claim of his tremendous upper body strength!

Another tidbit: someone on the tour said, "That looks like a kitchen chair on wheels." Turns out, it was! He had one made for him that way, and he liked it because it didn't look like a wheelchair.
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