Snapshot

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In the spring of 1935 I was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Our rowing team was competing in the Childs Cup Regatta at Annapolis, Maryland, and several of my fraternity brothers and I drove there for the race. As we arrived at the Naval Academy, the President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had just finished reviewing the midshipmen and was driving to the nearby residence of the academy superintendent for lunch.

Carrying my Brownie box camera, I followed the entourage on foot. The President was riding in the front passenger seat of a convertible sedan. His son opened the door, swung his father around, straightened his legs in their braces, and helped him to his feet. They walked arm in arm up a newly constructed ramp.

I knew that news photographers didn’t take pictures showing the President’s disability, but at this point I took a snapshot. A soldier standing about ten feet away had also taken a picture, and a Secret Service man, visible in my photo, went to the soldier, removed his roll of film, and exposed it, as I discreetly concealed my camera from his view and walked away.