I took this picture of the National Walter Reed Medical Center near Bethesda, Maryland in early 1948 when my buddies and I were on our way home from visiting Washington, D.C. It obviously impressed us to have pulled off the side to take the picture. However, it has stayed in my old album all these years without any special interest. We drove past the hospital many times during our years back there but the area had grown up to where it didn’t “stand out” like it did in earlier years. Earlier this week (2/17/15) the Lincoln Journal Star published a front page story on how the Nebraska State Capitol impressed President Roosevelt when he spoke here in October 1936.
A year later when Congress approved funding for a new Navy hospital in the Washington, D.C. area, “The President grabbed a piece of White House stationery and sketched the familiar shape.” While it was the original intent to build the new facility within the District of Columbia, the building height (can’t exceed the height of the Capitol Building) prohibited it. Again FDR was personally involved in going out to the Bethesda area where he put his cane to the ground and announced: "We will build it here"