Watch Rare Footage: FDR's Last Visit to Pittsburgh

During this week 76 years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt received a warm reception during a brief campaign stop in Pittsburgh.

Video shot by John J. Kane Jr. and donated to the FDR Library. Kane was the son of former Allegheny County Commissioners Chairman John J. Kane.

History is repeating itself this week as Pittsburgh hosts a visit by the President of the United States. 

President Barack Obama is due Thursday in Pittsburgh to host a conference on the future of innovation in the United States and around the world. During this week 76 years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt was in the Steel City to push his “New Deal” initiatives and campaign for a third term. 

On Oct. 11, FDR visited two defense plants in the Mon Valley and dedicated the Terrace Village public housing project in the Hill District. His automobile tour of the area, documented in the video above, lasted three hours.

“He inspected armor plate at the Carnegie-Illinois Homestead plant for 21 minutes and spent 16 more minutes traveling through Mesta Machine Company’s gun and shell forgings plant at West Homestead,” reporter John E. Jones wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettte. At the last stop, at Terrace Village, the President praised “intelligent and sympathetic cooperation between the Federal Government and the local agencies …” He then handed a key to what was described as the nation’s 100,000th low-rent housing unit to Pearl Churchfield, the wife of a 26-year-old mill worker, the PG reported.

It would be FDR's last visit to Pittsburgh. World War II and declining health would preclude any more visits. Roosevelt died April 12, 1945.

h/t: The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh


Categories: The 412