Live@Central Author to portray FDR’s secretary
Kathryn Smith, author of “The Gatekeeper: Missy LeHand, FDR, and the Untold Story of the Partnership That Defined a Presidency,” will speak at Central United Methodist Church Wednesday, March 11 at 6:15 p.m.
Smith, who lives in Anderson, will speak as Missy, in full period costume, then take questions about her book. The program is free and open to the public.
FDR considered his savvy personal secretary, Marguerite Alice LeHand, one of the most vital, and certainly one of the most loyal, members of his inner circle. He often remarked that Missy was “my conscience.” She worked with FDR for more than twenty years, starting from his first failed vice presidential campaign in 1920, through his time as governor of New York, and for almost a decade in the White House. Yet while hundreds of books have chronicled FDR’s four historic terms in office, as he steered the country through the Great Depression and World War II, Missy had literally been relegated to the footnotes of history until Smith’s book was published.
Smith has given her Missy LeHand impersonation program in dozens of venues, including the FDR Library and Museum in Hyde Park, N.Y., the Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga., and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, La.
“Missy was known for her great sense of humor, so I try to inject lots of laughs into a program that also teaches history,” she said.