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Warm Springs, Georgia (JFK+50) President Franklin D. Roosevelt died shortly after 1 p.m. 70 years ago today, April 12, 1945, of a cerebral hemorrhage at the Little White House* here in Warm Springs.

The President, while sitting in the living room having his portrait made, suddenly grabbed his head and said…

 “I have a terrific headache”.  

Grace Tully**, FDR’s private secretary was alerted that the President was sick and to call a doctor.  She later wrote…

“I could feel a chill in my heart, a sense that this was something different…I decided to go at once to the President’s cottage.”

When she arrived, two doctors were attending the President in his bedroom. They soon came out with the sad news.

Later, as a procession took FDR’s body from the home, Graham Jackson*** played Going Home and one of FDR’s favorite hymns, Nearer My God To Thee, on his accordion.

*Little White House opened as a museum in 1948.  The portrait that artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff was painting at the time of FDR’s collapse, now titled “The Unfinished Portrait,” is on display here. 

**Grace Tully (1900-1984) was born in Bayonne, NJ.  She was educated at the Grace Institute of NY and served on the staff of NY Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt.  In 1941, she replaced Missy LeHand as FDR’s personal secretary.

***Graham W. Jackson, Sr. (1903-1983), a celebrated musician and choral conductor, was born in Portsmouth, VA and served in the US Navy 1942-1945.  GWJ was featured at Atlanta’s Royal Theatre and Bailey’s “81.”


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