President Franklin D Roosevelt had a lot on his plate at the White House on November 1, 1938. Nazi Germany was building up for World War II. The stock market was struggling to find a way to come out of the Great Depression. And the country nearly went into a panic two days earlier when a young producer named Orson Welles broadcast a fictional alien attack on America with “War of the Worlds.”
But during a cabinet meeting, he stopped all business of presiding over the nation to listen to the radio broadcast of a race between two horses 40 miles up the road in Baltimore.