April 12th in Roosevelt History

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia at the rehabilitation center for the treatment of polio that he founded.

On the morning of April 13, 1945, the President’s casket was carried to the railroad station at Warm Springs, accompanied by a procession of 2,000 soldiers from Fort Benning, Georgia. Moving no faster than 35 miles per hour, the train passed through South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. All along the way sorrowful citizens turned out to pay their respects to the passing funeral train. It arrived in Washington, DC on April 14th. President Truman, members of the immediate family, and high-ranking government officials met the funeral train at Union Station.

Full military honors were rendered in the motorcade from the railroad station to the White House where the casket was placed in the East Room. The Episcopal funeral service was conducted at 4:00 p.m. That evening the casket was taken in a small procession of soldiers and police back to Union Station for the trip to Hyde Park, New York. Again, mournful citizens turned out along the way to witness the passing train.

The morning of April 15th the funeral train arrived at a siding on the Hudson River four miles from the Roosevelt home. The casket was transferred to a gun carriage and driven to the Roosevelt estate along a route lined with soldiers, sailors, and marines. The caisson was preceded by a military band and a battalion of West Point cadets and followed by limousines containing President Truman and the Roosevelt family. Full Military honors were rendered from the train to the burial site. Hundreds of people young and old traveled to Hyde Park to attend the funeral. 

Interment was in the Rose Garden at the estate in Hyde Park. The rector of St. James Episcopal Church read the burial services. Three volleys were fired over the grave, and taps were sounded as the casket was lowered into its final resting place.

Please join us this coming Saturday, April 12th for a wreath laying ceremony at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park to honor President Roosevelt on the 69th anniversary of his death. Ceremony will begin at 1:30. Find event details here.

Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum