Listen: White House, Truman Family, Harry Truman discussed on Omnibus
"And at a certain point, there was a campaign that was somewhat some partially sponsored by the March of dimes to actually build a swimming pool for FDR because he had polio. He needed the kind of recruiter tive ex. Cise of of swimming. So I guess it was publicly known that he had polio even though they tried to not photograph him in the wheelchair was, yeah, it was understood that he was that mildly disabled, but in general, they tried to portray him as HALE and hearty trust pas. Is that tough at the height of the depression to get people behind giving the president, a swimming pool? Well, it was a March of dimes thing like everybody given nickel or something. And I think by that point, I would not give employees nickel one plug nickel to give the president today, a swimming pool. Well, they built him assuming pool of beautiful swimming pool actually in the west wing, the long, long colonnade that they walk along in. So many old newsreels actually was outside of this long. Beautiful swimming isn't it isn't the pressroom now I remember in that, right? Yeah. So in nineteen seventy Nixon decided that he was a Quaker, he didn't believe in swimming. He didn't believe in swimming, and he thought it was he what Nixon liked to do was ruined. Everybody's fun. And so he. Turned it into the pressroom again as an effort to move the press somewhere else. Somewhere they could be managed. Now, Gerald, Ford wanted a swimming pool and actually had a swimming, another swimming pool constructed outside. Do you think that was the whole purpose behind Watergate? He was trying to force in out and get the pool back. It was part of whip inflation. And give you. So by the time Truman occupied the White House in nineteen forty five on the death of FDR. The White House was beginning to be like visibly unsafe, shabby. And probably most people didn't know it. Most people didn't know it, although it started to be apparent because when they would have big balls in the White House ballroom, the chandelier would sway sway so much that the crystal aspects of it would tinkle Termine said it sagged and moved like a ship at sea. Yeah, and it started to the the, the Truman family recognized that the building was falling apart, and there was a bathtub of that and trimmer joke that he might at some point fall into a reception naked in his bathtub, and that would that would certainly shocked the nation. And because he was a very well endowed president. As everyone knows. He's a humble man. He was humble man, but he didn't wanna flaunt it. So through the whole, I Truman administration, they were living in this house that was crumbling around them and in one thousand nine hundred forty eight actually a leg of their piano on the second floor fell through the floor just fell fell through the floor, and it was deemed I think rightly enough of ended an emergency. His daughter is playing again suddenly clunk, like he's going to worry about Margaret falling through the floor at some well and long with a piano. I mean, it's one thing to fall through the floor of the White House. It's another thing to ride a piano down. Is this an Oscar Wilde thing that I don't know is a tragedy to lose one daughter, but it doesn't give us are, but a tragedy to lose piano. So the commission on the renovation was formed and they went about kind of taking the floor up and the walls apart and looking inside and the Truman's moved out. Well, not yet. Oh, they're still looking. Yeah, they're the commission is like, let's see what's going on Laura Tori panel. And they realized that the the only thing holding up the White House was just tradition was like it was structurally completely unsafe and unsound and falling apart. Well, at the same time, Harry Truman wanted to add his own modification to the White House, which was the Truman balcony. Oh yeah. So on the on the colonnade facing the back, if you look at very old photographs of it through most of the White House's history, it's a, it's an an empty space. The pillars go from the roof down to the ground and the second floor had. Some ratty looking awnings and they would stand under the awnings and give speeches and so forth. And Truman wanted to put a balcony that was inside of that colonnade.."