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Establishment of Arthurdale

Morgantown Dominion-News
May 28, 1938


President Leaves Arthurdale After Giving Tax Views

Measure Will Go in Effect Minus Signing

Declines, however, To Veto Bill as It Now Stands

FDR Impressed with Project

By Bob Sturgiss

Arthurdale, W. Va., May 27—Waving a final farewell to the thousands who crowded around the platform of his special train, President Franklin D. Roosevelt continued his trip to his mother’s home at Hyde Park, N. Y., this afternoon, proud of what he had seen during his five-hour visit at this Government subsistence homestead founded through the efforts of his wife.

His initial visit to Arthurdale was climaxed by a 45-minute graduation address, broadcast over a nation-wide radio hookup and heard by 25,000 persons visiting the homestead, in which he said he would permit the Government’s 5-billion dollar tax bill to become a law without his signature.

Although he agreed with many points of the compromise measure passed 10 days ago by Congress, Mr. Roosevelt assailed several parts of the new legislation, mainly the capital gains tax, which he said would help those who make large profits in buying and selling existing stock.

Becomes Law

“If I sign the bill,[”] the President said, “and I have until midnight to sign it—many people will think I approve the abandonment of an important principle of American taxation.

“If I veto the bill it will prevent many of the desirable features of it from going into effect.

“Therefore for the first time since I have been President, I am going to take the third course which is open to me. I am going to let the act go into effect at midnight tonight without my approval.”

The tax legislation, which now becomes a law, includes only a remnant of the undistributed profits tax recommended by Mr. Roosevelt and condemned by business. It adjusts the former capital gains taxes, also assailed by business, by substituting flat rates for a graduated scale.

To the cheers of more than a thousand homesteaders and guests who crowded in the Arthurdale school auditorium to hear the graduation ceremony, the President said:

“I am proud of what I have seen here today, and I am proud of all of you who are helping so greatly to make this community an American success.”

Goes on Tour

Soon after he stepped from his train at 10 a.m., Mr. Roosevelt was taken on a six-mile automobile tour of the homestead. Despite the hot sun which sent the temperature in the 80s, the President rode in a large, open Secret Service car and chatted affably with homesteaders, visited the newly-erected Arthurdale Inn, the Cooperative Dairy, the medical Center, the site of two factory buildings, and other spots of interest.

As the car stopped in front of Arthurdale Inn, John Mason, a 75-year-old homesteader approached the President and told him: “We’re mighty glad to have you here.”

“It’s good to be here.” The President replied.

As the elderly homesteader walked away he turned his head and said: “Boy, he is a grand man.”

Riding in the car with Mr. Roosevelt were his son John, Senator M. M. Neely, and Gov. Homer Holt. They were followed on the tour by 12 cars containing other guests and a battery of newspaper photographers and reporters. After inspecting the inn from his car the President and his party moved on to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Whitaker and chatted with both the homesteaders.

West Virginia Moose

At the next stop, the dairy farm, Manager Percy Martin brought a prize cow to Mr. Roosevelt’s car and the President and Martin engaged in a conversation.

A photographer interrupted:

“Mr. President, have that bull brought a little closer to the car.”

Although several reporters nudged the photographer to explain his mistake, the President had heard the remark and added:

“This is no bull. If you really want to know, this is a West Virginia moose.”

Senator Neely exclaimed: “I hope Jack Garner doesn’t get his sights on it.” Vice President Garner has been teased recently by senators who claim he shot a cow after mistaking it for a deer.

The group moved on to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence DeGolnyer, who have five sons and six daughters.

“Is this your next to last child?” the President asked Mr. DeGolnyer as he met their 2-year-old child.

“This is the last one,” DeGolnyer replied.

The President stopped for a short chat with young Dr. J. F. Lehman, health center chief for the project and discussed briefly the plan of operation of the health unit which has served 200 patients in the 18 months it has been in existence. Pretty Caroline Hogan, nurse, and Dr. Rob McClain looked on.

Has Luncheon

The President drove to the educational center for luncheon, where he was joined by Mr[s]. Roosevelt, who had spoken at dedication ceremonies at Monongalia High School, Morgantown Negro institution recently completed as a WPA project.

Several hours before the commencement exercises started, thousands of visitors began milling around the entrance to the gymnasium, scene of the services. The building was filled to capacity several minutes after doors were opened, and many onlookers remained outside in the hot sun to hear the president’s address via a loud speaker system. Several women fainted while standing outside and were given aid by a number of State Police who began duty at the homestead as early as 6:30 a.m.

Mrs. Roosevelt, after returning to the homestead at 1 p.m., remained in the background and explained:

“The President is the visitor today. I’m just one of the crowd.”

Trent Speaks

Sitting alongside of Senator Neely, Col. Johnson, and Gov. Holt as the exercises began, the President listened intently to a short talk, “Facing Our Future,” by Dorothy Whittaker, a graduate. Following Mr. Roosevelt’s address, which drew loud cheers at frequent intervals, Mrs. Roosevelt greeted the seniors. Her remarks were followed by talks by Dr. W. W. Trent, State superintendent of schools, and Rep. Jennings Randolph. Paul W. Watson, Preston County superintendent of schools, introduced guests on the platform, and Principal E. Grant Nine of the Arthurdale schools presented the 13 seniors who received diplomas from the First Lady. Awards were presented by H. G. Crogan, president of the Preston County Board of Education. The Rev. B. W. Folsom offered invocation and benediction.

Mrs. Roosevelt and a party of her friends who arrived at the homestead yesterday afternoon left here half an hour after the President. They were to return to Washington but intended to stop overnight before reaching the Capital.


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