The focus was on the Vice Presidency during the 1944 Democratic National Convention. "It was in the minds of many delegates that whoever was nominated for Vice President could very well become President within the next four years," said Senator Harry Byrd.
Narrator: As the convention got underway, the Democrats prepared to give their nomination for the fourth time to Franklin Roosevelt. Many of them already knew it would be the last.
The President was ill. Diagnosed with heart disease, he had never asked, and was never told, the extent of his illness. But those close to him were frightened by the deathlike pallor that shadowed the once ebullient face.
Pat Hannegan, Daughter of Democratic Party Chairman: It was not spoken of. The fact that Roosevelt might die. That was a deep, dark secret.
It was war time and no one wanted to talk about the President failing in any way....[but] I think that had to be behind everybody's minds.
Harry Byrd, Senator: It was in the minds of many delegates that whoever was nominated for Vice President could very well become President within the next 4 years. The entire focus of that convention was on who would be nominated for the Vice Presidency.
During World War II, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military as WASPS.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of America's least understood presidents. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
A minute-by-minute account, on both sides of the Pacific, leading up to the surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor.
The boy behind the myth, who in just a few short years transformed himself from a skinny orphan to the most feared man in the West and an enduring icon. Part of The Wild West collection.
The unusual life of David Vetter, who lived permanently inside a germ-free environment due to severe combined immunodeficiency.
Robert Noyce's invention of the microchip launched the world into the Information Age.
The life of the president who saw himself as the heroic defender of the "shining city on a hill." Part of the award-winning Presidents Collection.