Lead: Battered and depressed by the economic cataclysm that had taken down the country and was taking down his presidency, Herbert Hoover sensed he was going to lose to the challenger, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With unemployment at 33% and millions in dire economic straits, the Democrats in 1932 sailed with a political gale at their backs having chosen a remarkable candidate in the patrician Governor of New York, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A Harvard undergrad and Columbia lawyer, hailing from one of the oldest, most prominent of New York’s families, and the fifth cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin was a fixture in national Democratic circles since he was elected to the N.Y. State Senate in 1910. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during the First World War and ran for Vice-president in 1920. He and Governor James M. Cox of Ohio were buried in the post-war Harding return to normalcy. And then his world crashed down around him. While swimming at a family retreat at Canada’s Campobello Island in the summer of 1921 Roosevelt contracted what at the time seemed to be poliomyelitis. In 2003 a scholarly study suggested instead that it might have been Guillain-Barré syndrome, another severe neuro-paralytic disease.

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