Navy Chief Petty Officer Graham Jackson plays “Goin’ Home” on the accordion as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s body is carried from Warm Springs, Georgia, where he suddenly dead from a stroke on April 12, 1945. Jackson, a celebrated musician who played in numerous command performances in Washington, was a personal friend of President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
As he plays, Jackson’s face shows the sorrow felt all around the nation at the passing of the President. His tear lined face was captured by Life photographer Ed Clark. Clark was in town on assignment to document the President Roosevelt’s funeral train as it left town on the way back to the nation’s capital. Instead, he found inspiration in the mourners and captured one of the most iconic photos of the time. The Life editors were so captivated with this photo that they ran it in a full-page issue on April 17, 1945.