#FBF: FDR’s toga party at the White House

(CNN)Believe it or not, there is a tasteful way to hold a toga party. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proved that with his 1934 Roman-themed birthday bash. Ahead of President Donald Trump’s birthday on June 14, we’re taking a #FlashbackFriday look at a very memorable presidential birthday from the past.

In the photo above from the the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum’s collection, you can see Roosevelt — or in the spirit of the festivities, Caesar Roosevelt — seated before a three-tiered birthday cake, draped in a cape and crowned with a laurel. Roosevelt is surrounded by toga-clad revelers, including his wife, Eleanor, and some soldiers. Casual. In the background, you can see one of the iconic half-moon windows of the White House residence’s sitting rooms.
The party was held on January 30, 1934, Roosevelt’s 52nd birthday. According to the FDR Library, the theme was chosen as a joke, poking fun at FDR’s critics who called him a dictator. (Trolling is not a 21st century invention.)
    Attention to detail was clearly key for a Rooseveltian birthday. Look at the ferns covering the floor, the palms surrounding the group and the excessive accessorizing partygoers went through. Take note, fraternities of America, commitment to the shtick is the key to a classy toga party. No one at this shindig ripped unwashed sheets off a bed and sauntered off to the White House.
    President Roosevelt’s birthday was not all fun and games. One of FDR’s closest friends established the National Committee for Birthday Balls. Its purpose was to host parties across America to celebrate the President’s birthday, but also to raise money for a therapeutic center in Warm Springs, Georgia.
    Polio patients such as FDR would visit the center for rehabilitation and treatment. The FDR library says that hundreds of events raised more than $1 million dollars for the center the year of FDR’s toga bash.
    Roosevelt died in Warm Springs in 1945 at the age of 63.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/politics/fbf-presidential-birthdays-fdr-toga-party/index.html

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