Classic Hollywood #90 – Errol Flynn & Mrs. Roosevelt

Errol Flynn Receives A Trophy From Eleanor Roosevelt – 1939

1939 Errol Flynn Eleanor Roosevelt

The event held on  January 25, 1939 in Fort Myer, VA was a benefit fighting infantile paralysis. Errol Flynn (above) rides Badger, a horse belonging to John Roosevelt, son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

So what did Flynn do to earn the trophy? Being a movie star entitles one to receive accolades and awards even if they’re meaningless. Mrs. Roosevelt presents Flynn a silver cup for participating in the event.

As part a two day show, for the President’s birthday program, monies went to the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis. The previous year, comedian Eddie Cantor incorporated the name this organization is commonly known as today – The March of Dimes.

On his January 1938 radio broadcast, Cantor appealed to listeners to send a dime to the White House to help eradicate the disease. Cantor’s modest request: if a million people could send a dime to fight infantile paralysis, we will be able to quickly raise $100,000,

The first two days donations totaled $17.50. The following week, the money poured in, over $268,000 arriving a dime at a time. President Roosevelt took to the airwaves to thank Cantor and the American public. Eight decades later, The March of Dimes raises over $200 million annually.

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