New Hampshire: International News Photos, Inc, 18 June 1932. Photograph. This is an original press photo of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as Governor of New York with members of his family at the home of his son, James, on 18 June 1932, weeks before he received the Democratic presidential nomination and less than five months before the November election that made him president. The photo is from the International News Photo Inc. press agency. The image, measuring 6.5 x 8.5 in (16.5 x 21.6 cm), is a silver gelatin print on glossy photo paper. Condition is very good. The paper is crisp, clean, and free of scuffing; there is a hint of silvering around the edges and a .5 in closed tear in the left margin. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “International News Photos, Inc.” and a typed paper caption, broken off along its fold but still present, reading “Members of the famous Roosevelt family of New York and New England, photographed in the home of James Roosevelt, at Little Boar’s Head, Rye [NH], when Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt visited his son recently. Left to right are, - Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt; Gov. Roosevelt; Mrs. James Roosevelt; Mrs. Harvey Cushing, mother of Mrs. J. Roosevelt; and James Roosevelt. Father and son talked of weighty convention matters during the short visit.” The date on the caption reads 6-18-32.
This photograph captures Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at the home of their oldest son, James. The press agency’s caption indicates that this photograph was taken on 18 June 1932, just weeks before FDR received the Democratic party nomination on 2 July 1932. The nation preparing for a presidential election in 1932 was suffering the effects of the Great Depression. Nearly a quarter of the work force was unemployed, price and productivity had dropped to one-third of their 1929 levels, and farms across the country were suffering the consequences of decades of intensive farming and drought conditions turning the Great Plains into the Dust Bowl. President Herbert Hoover, held responsible by the nation for its economic state, was deeply unpopular. It was a notional certainty that the Democratic nominee would win the presidency. When FDR, the Governor of New York, emerged as the frontrunner in the spring of 1932, his running mate, John Nance Garner, told him, “All you have got to do is stay alive until election day.” Nevertheless, FDR campaigned enthusiastically, travelling to 41 states and making hundreds of speeches.
At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago FDR became the first presidential candidate to formally accept the nomination in person at a party convention. In his acceptance speech he famously promised “I pledge you, I pledge myself, a new deal for the American people… this is more than a political campaign. It is a call to arms. Give me your help, not to win votes alone – but to win in this crusade to return America to its own people.” Such was the singular nature of both the man and his presidency that no mere biographical sketch of Franklin Delano Roosevelt seems to suffice. “Even those critical of his achievements recognize their magnitude” (ANB). America’s only crippled president and the only president ever elected to four terms in office was the indispensable leader of his country during its greatest economic crisis and its greatest foreign war. By any reasonable assessment, Roosevelt fundamentally reshaped social, political, and geopolitical expectations and realities not just of his nation, but of large parts of the world. FDR, as he became widely known, served as thirty-second president of the United States for twelve years, from 1933-1945, dying in office on 12 April 1945, only months after the beginning of his fourth term and less than a month before VE Day. Item #005497