Letters to the Editor

FDR and Wilkie

Mayor Seymour Gelber is a distinguished public servant, but his memory of history in Sunday’s Miami Herald (“I’m with her,” Oct. 2) is inaccurate. Many in the Republican Party of 1940 were avowed isolationists — as were the majority of Americans — but Wendall Wilkie was not. He was an Anglophile who supported FDR’s quiet efforts to help England and publicly supported FDR’s Lend Lease.

During the 1940 campaign, both Wilkie and FDR publicly stated a desire to keep American out of World War II. To say otherwise would have been political suicide in 1940.

Private correspondence showed that FDR was relieved that the Republican Party had nominated Wilkie instead of Sen. Robert Taft so that aid to England would not be a political issue. FDR made Wilkie his envoy during the war to help the American war efforts in London.

Lang Baumgarten, Miami

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