August 25, 1921: FDR is Diagnosed with Polio
On this day in 1921, Dr. Robert Lovett diagnosed 39-year-old Franklin Roosevelt with infantile paralysis, more commonly known as polio. The diagnosis came a few weeks after a fall into icy waters that left him unable to feel parts of his body and hold his own weight.
Although there was no cure for polio at the time, FDR participated in rehabilitation classes and swimming exercises to regain his strength before re-entering politics.
Photo: President Roosevelt in his wheelchair on the porch at Top Cottage in Hyde Park, NY with his dog, Fala, and Ruthie Bie, granddaughter of the cottage’s caretaker. February 1941. Wikimedia Commons.