Introduction“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) uttered those words to reassure Americans in the midst of the Great Depression. Born into a wealthy New York family in 1882, Roosevelt entered politics early in his life, becoming a senator by age 28, then governor of New York, and finally president in 1932. A victim of polio and confined to a wheelchair, a fact many Americans never knew, Roosevelt became president at the depth of the Great Depression and strove to rescue the country from economic disaster. Working tirelessly, FDR revived the economy with his “New Deal” and simultaneously prepared the country for World War II. FDR died in office as the only man to be elected to four terms as president.
- Roosevelt’s cousin Theodore had also served as president. He inspired FDR to enter public service.
- FDR’s “New Deal” program dramatically enlarged the federal government’s power and responsibility, creating our modern welfare and social security programs.
- Roosevelt is considered by many to be the “father” of the modern Democratic Party. The Democrats had been the conservative party prior to FDR, but his sweeping liberal reforms made the Democratic Party into the champion of the underprivileged in America.
- FDR married Eleanor Roosevelt in March of 1905. She was his fifth cousin, once removed, and they had known each other on and off since childhood.
- Prior to U.S. involvement in World War II, FDR created the “Lend Lease” program in order to provide England with equipment to fight the Germans. Though America sought to stay out of a European war, Roosevelt’s planning helped the United States prepare for a war he knew the country could not long avoid.
All Resources by Category
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Appoints Perkins as Secretary of Labor
- New Deal: West's Encyclopedia of American Law
- Roosevelt, Franklin D. 1882-1945 - 1940's Government and Politics
- The Crash and the Great Depression
- Atlantic Charter Is Signed: Salem on History
- Franklin D. Roosevelt Is Elected President: Salem on History
- The Great Depression
- Communications Act of 1934 - 1930's Media
- Eleanor Roosevelt: Cold War Primary Sources
- Great Depression and New Deal Primary Sources
- How Was The United Nations Formed? - History Fact Finder
- How Were Theodore And Franklin D. Roosevelt Related? - History ...
- Minimum Wage: West's Encyclopedia of American Law
- What Was The League Of Nations? - History Fact Finder
- What Was The New Deal? - History Fact Finder
- What Were The "Fireside Chats"? - History Fact Finder
- World War II Primary Sources
- "Landon 1,293,669; Roosevelt, 972,897: Final Returns in the Digest's Poll of Ten Million Voters"
- "On Social Security" - 1930's Government and Politics
- "The Four Freedoms" - 1940's Government and Politics
- Address at the Dedication of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Monument
- Franklin D. Roosevelt's I Have Seen War...I Hate War Speech
- Franklin D. Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech
- Franklin D. Roosevelt: Excerpt from "Annual Message to Congress Annual Message to Congress, January 3, 1938"
- Franklin D. Roosevelt: Excerpt From "Recommendation for Legislation to Provide Assistance"
- Franklin D. Roosevelt: Excerpt From 1933 Inaugural Address (Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself Speech)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt: First Fireside Chat
- Franklin D. Roosevelt: Second Inaugural Address
- Letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- Radio Address on a Program of Assistance for the Crippled
- Roosevelt and/or Ruin - 1930's Religion
- Roosevelt, Franklin D.: Excerpt From "There Can Be No Appeasement"
- Roosevelt, Franklin D.: Excerpt From "Unlimited National Emergency"
- Roosevelt, Franklin D.: Excerpt From "We Are Going to Win the War" ...
- Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt: World War II Primary Sources
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