April 12, 2011 marks the 66th Anniversary of the death of FDR.

***********************************************************

In April 1945, America and its allies were nearing victory in World War II. In Europe, Germany was on the brink of defeat, while in the Pacific plans for the invasion of Japan were
underway.

Three long years of wartime leadership took a grim toll on Franklin Roosevelt. By spring 1945 he was suffering from hypertension and heart disease. On March 29 he left Washington for a vacation at Warm Springs, Georgia. For years he had sought to restore his health at the rehabilitation center he founded there in 1927.

In the early afternoon of April 12, 1945 the President was in his private cottage at Warm Springs signing papers and sitting for a portrait painter. Suddenly, he raised his hand to his head, complaining of a headache. He slumped forward, losing consciousness.

At 3:35 P.M. the President was pronounced dead from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Americans soon learned the news: the man who had led them through years of economic crisis and war was gone.

FDR’s sudden death stunned the nation. Few had known of the severity of President Roosevelt’s health problems. The public’s shock was magnified by the fact that Roosevelt had been America’s chief executive for over twelve years. Young Americans had no memory of any other President. The timing of his death, at a moment when victory in World War II seemed at hand, added to the country’s grief.

The final photograph of President Franklin D. Roosevelt - taken at Warm Springs, Georgia on April 11, 1945 - the day before his death

For more on the anniversary of President Roosevelt’s death, read the following pdf from the 60th Anniversary of FDR’s death. April 12, 1945 Anniversary