Hattie was glued to her radio the evening of April 12, 1945 and for several days afterward to learn of the death, funeral train, and burial of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In subsequent years she often remarked on the anniversary of this day, writing on April 12, 1956 that “our Nation is in sorrow untold, and all programs on the radio are in his memory.”

See this earlier post for more of Hattie’s diary entries, visit the extensive FDR Library’s digital collection of resources, and scroll to the bottom of this post for newsreel footage. You can also view the unfinished portrait from the day of his death.

April 12, 1945: I was playing solitaire

between five thirty and six
when radio told of
Franklin Roosevelt’s death
at Warm Springs, Georgia
at three thirty-five
central time.
He was sitting for a portrait
by the fireplace
at his cottage
on the hill
when he spoke of a
headache and fainted.
His valet and bell-boy
lifted him to bed but
he did not regain consciousness
died at above time
so our President is gone.
Harry S. Truman
has taken oath.
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt
flew to Warm Springs.
A shocked world this night.

Photo of FDR taken April 11, 1945

Photo of FDR taken April 11, 1945, Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

April 12, 1945

April 12, 1945