Many conspiracy theorists believe that nearly every President has their secrets. This is nothing new. But sometimes, those secrets have nothing to do with national security or their actual presidency.
Sometimes, it can be more personal. This is evidenced in the fact that not too long ago—just in the last two years or so—news footage of President Roosevelt was shown where he was being pushed in a wheelchair.
At first, it may seem obvious as to why a President wouldn’t want the public to see him in a wheelchair. Whether we like it or not, such news might make the public assume than he is ailing or weak. This was especially true during Roosevelt’s presidency.
Some may not know that Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio in 1929 when he was 39-years-old. Much of the time, he was unable to walk without the aid of leg braces or mobility aids.
He regularly used a wheelchair in his private life but never in public. The footage, which is just a mere eight second clip, was discovered by a professor at Indiana College and shows Roosevelt visiting Pearl Harbor in July of 1944. In the clip, the chair itself is almost totally hidden by a line of sailors and it is assumed that this was intentional.
This clip is being seen as remarkable mainly because of what it adds to Roosevelt’s legacy. This is, after all, the President that served during World War II and the Great Depression.
To know that he was also dealing with these types of personal issues only adds to his character and strength. More than that, he also worked to keep it a secret from the public—a fear in itself when you consider how much attention he was given.
What are your thoughts? Given the era in which Roosevelt served as President, was it a smart strategic move to keep his disability a secret from the public?