Rare film footage featuring President Franklin D. Roosevelt walking to his seat at a baseball game helps dispel the myth that he completely hid his disability and shows the courage it took to go about his daily life, experts said Friday.
The clip shows FDR, who was paralyzed from the waist down by polio in 1921, grasping a rail with one hand while being supported on the other side by an assistant. FDR used a wheelchair because he could walk only with braces on his legs and the support of a cane.
“Here is FDR going to a stadium full of people,” said Bob Clark, deputy director of FDR’s Presidential Library and Museum. “Even the simple act of going to a baseball game required a great deal of logistics and preparation.”
Former Major League Baseball player Jimmie DeShong shot the film at the 1937 All-Star game in Washington. On Thursday, the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg announced it had acquired the clip from the family of DeShong, a native of the state’s capital city.
DeShong’s daughter Judy Savastio said she showed the clip to officials at the FDR library in Hyde Park, New York, about two years ago. She allowed the footage to be used in a montage that has been on view at the museum for about a year.
Filmmaker Ken Burns calls the footage “one of the very best pieces of film that so clearly shows what a brave struggle it was for FDR to move.” Burns plans to incorporate it into his upcoming documentary on the Roosevelts. The press generally did not film FDR struggling to move under his own power, as the Secret Service did not want to publicize the president’s vulnerability, according to historians.
Show can use Jackson hologram
A federal judge ruled Friday that the Billboard Music Awards can use a hologram of deceased pop icon Michael Jackson at this weekend’s show, rejecting efforts from tech companies seeking to block the digital performance.
Judge Kent Dawson said there wasn’t enough evidence to show the planned 3-D image would violate patents held by Hologram USA Inc. and Musion Das Hologram Ltd.
The companies own rights to technology known for digitally resurrecting deceased rapper Tupac Shakur at the 2012 Coachella music festival.
“The request to stop this extraordinary Michael Jackson event was ludicrous,” attorney Howard Weitzman, who represented Jackson’s estate and dick clark productions, wrote in an email.
Plans to use the hologram during the show Sunday emerged with the lawsuit, but they weren’t confirmed until the hearing Friday afternoon. Show producers had been promoting only a “history-making performance” at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena that would promote the singer’s latest posthumous album, “Xscape.”
The birthday bunch
Singer Taj Mahal is 72. Rock musician Bill Bruford is 65. Actor Bill Paxton is 59. Boxing Hall-of-Famer Sugar Ray Leonard is 58. Actor-comedian Bob Saget is 58. Singer Enya is 53. Talk show host-actor Craig Ferguson is 52. Actor Tahj Mowry is 28. Actress Nikki Reed is 26. Actress Leven Rambin is 24.