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Ind. prof finds film of FDR’s secret disability

CHARLES WILSON, Associated Press
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair in slideshow released by the FDR Library on YouTube.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair in slideshow released by the FDR Library on YouTube.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana college professor has found rare film footage showing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt being pushed in a wheelchair, depicting a secret not revealed to the public until after his death.

Franklin College professor Ray Begovich said Tuesday he found the eight-second clip while doing research in the National Archives in College Park, Md.

The film clip shows Roosevelt on the U.S.S. Baltimore at Pearl Harbor in July 1944, nine months before his death. The wheelchair is not clearly visible, but its motion is.

The FDR Presidential Museum and Library and the National Archives both say such footage is rare.

Roosevelt contracted polio in 1921 at age 39 and did not publicly appear in a wheelchair throughout his presidency. The FDR museum says news photographers cooperated in concealing his disability.

This video was released by the FDR Library and posted on YouTube:

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