Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2005

Astro-Rayological Interpretation & Charts
Images and Physiognomic Interpretation

to Volume 3 Table of Contents


Franklin D. Roosevelt—United States President During the Depression and WWII

January 30, 1882, Hyde Park, New York, 8:45 PM, LMT. (Source: father’s diary) Died, April 12, 1945, Warm Springs Georgia, USA         .

(Ascendant, Virgo with Uranus also in Virgo, H12; Sun conjunct Venus in Aquarius with Mercury also in Aquarius; Moon in Cancer; Mars in Gemini; Jupiter conjunct Uranus in Taurus, with Saturn and Pluto also in Taurus)           

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of the most important presidents of the United States, ranking in significance and influence with Washington and Lincoln. Elected for an unprecedented four terms of office, Roosevelt saw America through some of its most trying and critical times—the Great Depression and World War II. Before he was stricken with polio, there was little to indicate that he could successfully and resourcefully lead his nation through such crises, but his illness deepened his character and strengthened his resolve. The relative superficiality of his second ray personality subsided and the profound purposefulness of his first ray soul rose to meet the staggering challenges with which he was presented—the first such challenge being overcoming the crippling effects of polio. (As a side note, attention must be drawn to the opposition of the asteroid Hygeia, representing all health matters, to Roosevelt’s Mercury (ruling his nervous system) in the sign Aquarius (also closely related to the nervous system), and occupying the sixth house of sickness and health. Mercury is as well the orthodox ruler of the Ascendant, Virgo, and the Ascendant also has health implications. This (along with the Moon/Mars relationship) is one of the signatures of the Polio which overtook him.

Similarities exist between Roosevelt's chart and that of Ronald Regan. Both have Aquarius and Cancer (if the usual Cancer rising chart for Reagan is considered). Roosevelt was leaving Cancer (the mass desire) behind since it was his Moon sign; Reagan in the latter part of his life, became its representative. Both have Sun in Aquarius, but Roosevelt being a true disciple, represented the nation and even the world as a group,  rather than a small group of privileged citizens, as is the case with Reagan. Roosevelt’s Virgo Ascendant suggests the development of the attitude of the humble servant. The emphasis upon meeting the needs of labor (the common man) with a “New Deal” is suggested by the planet of the new and revolutionary, Uranus, placed in the sign Virgo (the sign of work and labor), near the Ascendant. With the benefit of these astrological energy, Roosevelt became the practical idealist. One of his great functions was to put America “back to work” through the institution of his New Deal programs.. His Uranian ideals made him, in the eyes of America’s wealthy, “a traitor to his class”—a class which stood for the preservation of the status quo, in which power and privilege remained in the hands of the wealthy few. Aquarius can be the most democratic of signs—opposed to control by monarchy or oligarchy.         

One can see that the first ray, as well as the seventh worked through Roosevelt’s high focus Uranus—really a singleton combining with the Ascendant. Uranus, when functioning in the life of a disciple or initiate, seeks to improve conditions through the institution of patterns which are more archetypal in nature. Roosevelt set about changing the patterns of American society. His Moon in Cancer put him in touch with the “little person” with the “common man”, for Cancer ruler the “mass consciousness”, and it was the average American who was suffering as a result of the Depression—not the privileged few. The Cancer Moon inclined him to seek to ensure their greater security, which he did by insuring bank deposits and putting millions of unemployed and impoverished Americans back to work through “make work” programs of civil service such as the Word Projects Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is clear that Roosevelt was an activist, with energetic Mars in thought-filled Gemini, at the MC. His progressive ideas were many and he sought, immediately, to put them into action. There is an exact trine between this activist, tenth house Mars in Gemini and Mercury, the planet of thought, in progressive Aquarius, placed in the sixth house of work and labor.

His Jupiter/Neptune conjunction (both of them either second or sixth ray planets) showed the possibility of heart center development and of compassion. Chiron is also conjunct these two planets and in Taurus. It was his task to heal (Chiron) the nations relations to its wealth and resources (Taurus), and restore its sense of self-worth (Taurus). We find Saturn (management) in Taurus (resources) in H8 (the energy and resources of “others”), and so we see his stewardship over the collective resources of the United States, and the caution (Saturn) it was necessary for him to exert to ensure that America could rise out of debt and depression (eighth house).

It was Roosevelt’s popularity and magnetism which made it possible for him to do the seemingly impossible. Venus, the planet of the soul and, in any case, the planet of attractiveness was conjunct to his Sun in Aquarius in H5 (the place where talents are expressed or displayed). Through Venus he managed to unite the majority of Americans in a more optimistic attitude towards national destiny. His “fire-side chats” were warm (nurturing Ceres conjunct Venus) personable and encouraging (Jupiter conjunct Neptune—hope and optimism), and he brought a sense of harmony (Venus) to the American group (Aquarius).      

Roosevelt’s Sun and Venus in house five, show that he was able to embody the energies of which he spoke; he was a living example of the jaunty optimism needed to raise a nation out of its economic (and psychological) misery. When he stated that, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, he was offering the best of the first and second rays in combination. He was also speaking as Jupiter, the esoteric ruler of his Sun Sign, Aquarius. One of his main tasks was to restore confidence (Jupiter) in American potential.

The esoteric ruler of the Virgo Ascendant is the Moon, placed in its own sign (exoterically), Cancer. No doubt the Moon is a veil for the transformative and reformative planet Uranus, expressing in yet another way Roosevelt’s profound ability to change the patterns in the life of his nation. The Cancerian conservatism of America was challenged by this veiled rulers, and irreversible changes for the better occurred.

Franklin Roosevelt was a great first ray disciple—strong enough to guide his nation through the Second World War where a psychological victory would contribute greatly to an eventual physical plane victory. In true Uranian manner, he enunciated the Four Freedoms which were great statements relating to the spiritual freedom  of humanity. The Tibetan emphasizes again and again the importance of these Freedoms, and the invaluable role of “that great first ray disciple” Franklin D. Roosevelt, in enunciating them. It is interesting to realize that Thomas Jefferson, who penned the Declaration of Independence also had Uranus at the Ascendant, just as Roosevelt had.

The Law of Freedom is Sirian in its nature, and Uranus is one of the conduits for the Sirian Energy (Sirius/Pisces/Uranus). Aquarius, we know, is, especially, the sign of freedom. While the first ray is undeniable and potent through Roosevelt as it was through Lincoln, both of these great “Sons of God” probably had a monad upon the second ray of Love-Wisdom, and were, probably, essentially related to the “Heart of God” as it expresses itself through the Will of God. Time will tell if this was the case, but there is good reason to think that it is so.   

As for Virgo, ultimately it is the distributor of the second ray of Love-Wisdom, and, presently, the most powerful constellational distributor of this ray. Through Virgo, Roosevelt met the needs of the lunar lords in a new and reorganized manner (Uranus), but he also contributed to the germination (Virgo) of the Love-Wisdom energy expressed through Freedom (inspired from Sirius), and so was instrumental in helping bring into greater prominence the second ray soul of the United States.


A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.
(Uranus conjunct Ascendant)

A nation that destroys it's soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
(Chiron in Taurus)

Are you laboring under the impression that I read these memoranda of yours? I can't even lift them.

Be sincere; be brief; be seated.

Confidence... thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.

Favor comes because for a brief moment in the great space of human change and progress some general human purpose finds in him a satisfactory embodiment.
(Jupiter conjunct Chiron & Neptune & Saturn)

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
(Stellium in Taurus. Sun & Venus in 5th house.)

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.
(Jupiter & Saturn in Taurus in 8th house)

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
(Cancer Moon in 10th house)

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.
(Stellium in 8th house)

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.

I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.
(Mars in Gemini & Moon in Cancer in 10th house)

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.
(Sun in Aquarius conjunct Venus)

If you treat people right they will treat you right... ninety percent of the time.

In our seeking for economic and political progress, we all go up - or else we all go down.

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
(Uranus conjunct Ascendant)

It isn't sufficient just to want - you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
(Pluto in 9th house)

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.
(Mars in Gemini conjunct MC)

One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment... If it doesn't turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.

Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force.

Put two or three men in positions of conflicting authority. This will force them to work at loggerheads, allowing you to be the ultimate arbiter.

Remember you are just an extra in everyone else's play.

Self-interest is the enemy of all true affection.

Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.

Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch.

Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something.

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes strong than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.

The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity - or it will move apart.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.

The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea.

There are as many opinions as there are experts.

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.

There is nothing I love as much as a good fight.
(Mars conjunct MC)

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.
(Cancer Moon)

To reach a port, we must sail - sail, not tie at anchor - sail, not drift.

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

We continue to recognize the greater ability of some to earn more than others. But we do assert that the ambition of the individual to obtain for him a proper security is an ambition to be preferred to the appetite for great wealth and great power.

We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we now know that it is bad economics.

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date that will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The peace loving nations must make a concerted effort in opposition to those violations of treaties and those ignorings of humane instincts which today are creating a state of international anarchy and instability from which there is no escape through mere isolation or neutrality.... When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of the disease.

Once I prophesied that this generation of Americans had a rendezvous with destiny. That prophecy now comes true. To us much is given; more is expected. This generation will nobly save or mainly lose the last best hope of earth. The way is plain, peaceful, generous just. A way, which if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless. Never before since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock has our American civilization been in such danger as now.... [The Nazis] have made it clear that not only do they intend to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world.

Today we seek a moral basis for peace.... It cannot be a lasting peace if the fruit of it is oppression, or starvation, cruelty, or human life dominated by armed camps. It cannot be a sound peace if small nations must live in fear of powerful neighbors. It cannot be a moral peace if freedom from invasion is sold for tribute.
(North Node in Sagittarius.)

I have read with interest and a good deal of dismay the decisions of the British Government regarding its Palestine policy.... Frankly I do not believe that the British are wholly correct in saying that the framers of the Palestine Mandate “could not have intended that Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country.”... [W]hile the Palestine Mandate undoubtedly did not intend to take away the right of citizenship and of taking part in the Government on the part of the Arab population, it nevertheless did intend to convert Palestine into a Jewish Home.... Certainly that was the impression that was given to the whole world at the time of the Mandate

[W]e must remember that so long as war exists on earth there will be some danger that even the Nation that most ardently desires peace may be drawn into war.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Speech at Chautauqua, New York, August 14, 1936, vol. 5, p. 292, New York, Random House (1938-1950). Edward M. Bennett, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Search for Security: American-Soviet Relations, 1933-1939, p. 79, Scholarly Resources, Inc. (1985).

I ... believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Letter, April 14, 1933, to Arthur Murray, President’s Personal File, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs, vol. I, p. 54, The Belknap Press of Harvard University (1969).

I fear ... that both dictators [Hitler and Mussolini] think their present methods are succeeding because of the gains they have made in Albania, Hungary and Yugoslavia.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Letter, June 7, 1939, to U.S. Ambassador to Italy, William Phillips. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs, Second Series. Photocopies of documents from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York (1969), p. 226, ed. Donald B. Schewe, Clearwater Publishing (1969).

Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales. Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the constant omission of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.
(Cancer Moon. Sun in Aquarius conjunct Venus.)

While ... we cannot and must not hide our concern for grave world dangers, and while, at the same time, we cannot build walls around ourselves and hide our heads in the sand, we must go forward with all our strength to stress and to strive for international peace. In this effort America must and will protect herself.

Don’t forget what I discovered—that over ninety percent of all national deficits from 1921 to 1939 were caused by payments for past, present, and future wars. Our national determination to keep free of foreign wars and foreign entanglements cannot prevent us from feeling deep concern when ideals and principles that we have cherished are challenged.

While things on the surface seem more quiet than at any time since last summer, I do not like the maintenance of what amounts to almost full mobilization in aggressor countries. Surely they cannot afford it and if they had any definite policy of trying to work out economic salvation (except by arms) they would be showing some signs of cutting military expenditures.

The man is a menace.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Edward M. Bennett, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Search for Security: American-Soviet Relations, 1933-1939, xxii. Interview with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hyde Park, New York (Summer 1959).
Eleanor Roosevelt’s recollection of her husband’s reaction to Adolf Hitler after listening to his first speech as Chancellor of Germany. She said that her husband never changed his mind about the danger that Hitler posed to the world.

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand idly by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.
(Uranus conjunct Ascendant. Mars conjunct MC.)
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. from commencement address, May 23, 1932, at Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia; ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 vols., New York (1938-1950). Nathan Miller, F.D.R.: An Intimate History, p. 263, Doubleday & Co.(1983).

And while I am talking to you mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. Democratic politician, president. speech, Oct. 30, 1940, Boston. Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, vol. 9 (1941).

How many people in the United States do you think will be willing to go to war to free Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania?
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Edward M. Bennett, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Search for Victory: American-Soviet Relations, 1939-1945, pp. 173-174, Scholarly Resources, Inc. (1990). Jim Bishop, FDR’s Last Year, p. 468, William Morrow & Co., Inc. (1974).

Chamberlain’s visit to Hitler today may bring things to a head or may result in a temporary postponement of what looks to me like an inevitable conflict within the next five years.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. letter, Sept. 15, 1938, to William Phillips, U.S. Ambassador to Italy. The Roosevelt Letters, vol. 3, p. 241, ed. Elliott Roosevelt, George G. Harrup & Co., Ltd. (1952).

[P]ermanent defenses are a non-recurring charge against governmental budgets while large armies continually rearmed with improved offensive weapons constitute a recurring charge. This, more than any other factor ... is responsible for governmental deficits and threatened bankruptcy. The way to disarm is to disarm.... [Congress and the President strive] for the improvement of social conditions, for the preservation of individual human rights, and for the furtherance of social justice.... It is in order to assure these great human values that we seek peace by ridding the world of the weapons of aggression and attack.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Congressional Record, volume 77, pp. 3479, 3499. Message to the Congress (May 16, 1933), vol. II, pp. 124-125, ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 volumes, New York (1938-1950).

One reason—perhaps the chief—of the virility of the Roosevelts is [their] very democratic spirit. They have never felt that because they were born in a good position they could put their hands in their pockets and succeed. They have felt, rather, that being born in a good position, there is no excuse for them if they did not do their duty by the community.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. From FDR’s sophomore honor’s thesis at Harvard. Nathan Miller, F.D.R.: An Intimate History, p. 33, Doubleday & Co. (1983).

Now comes this Russian diversion. If it is more than just that it will mean the liberation of Europe from Nazi domination—and at the same time I do not think we need to worry about the possibility of any Russian domination.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Letter, June 26, 1941, to Admiral William D. Leahy, Ambassador to Vichy France. The Roosevelt Letters, vol. 3, p. 377. ed. Elliott Roosevelt, George G. Harrup & Co., Ltd. (1952).

All the experts here ... say “There will be no war.” They said the same thing all through July 1914.... In those days I believed the experts. Today I have my tongue in my cheek. This does not mean I am become cynical; but as President I have to be ready just like a Fire Department!
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Letter, March 16, 1936, to Ambassador William E. Dodd. The Roosevelt Letters, vol. 3, pp. 173-174, ed. Elliott Roosevelt, George G. Harrup & Co., Ltd. (1952).

Honestly, the real trouble is ... a gang which unfortunately survives—made up mostly of those who were isolationists before December seventh and who are actuated today by various motives in their effort to instill disunity in the country.... The best comment I have heard was by Elmer Davis.... “Some people want the United States to win so long as England loses. Some people want the United States to win so long as Russia loses. Some people want the United States to win so long as Roosevelt loses.”
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Letter, March 16, 1942, to Russell Leffingwell. The Roosevelt Letters, vol. 3, p. 422, ed. Elliott Roosevelt, George G. Harrup & Co., Ltd. (1952).

Liberty is the air that we Americans breathe. Our Government is based on the belief that a people can be both strong and free. That civilized men need no restraint but that imposed by themselves against the abuse of freedom.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 2, Harvard University tercentenary (Sept. 18, 1936), ed., Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

Prosperous farmers mean more employment, more prosperity for the workers and the business men of ... every industrial area in the whole country.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), Boston campaign speech (Oct. 30, 1940), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.... The flag and the Constitution stand for democracy and not tyranny, for freedom, not subjection.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 2, second acceptance speech—”Rendezvous With Destiny” (1936), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens, a substantial part of its whole population, who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life. I see one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 3, second inaugural address—”One Third of a Nation” (March 4, 1937), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 12, undelivered address, Jefferson Day, given here by FDR, Jr. (April 13, 1945), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

Of course we will continue to work for cheaper electricity in the homes and on the farms of America; for better and cheaper transportation; for low interest rates; for sounder home financing; for better banking; for the regulation of security issues; for reciprocal trade among nations and for the wiping out of slums. And my friends, for all of these we have only begun to fight.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 3, address at Madison Square Garden, New York (Oct. 31, 1936), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

M]y conception of liberty does not permit an individual citizen or a group of citizens to commit acts of depredation against nature in such a way as to harm their neighbors and especially to harm the future generations of Americans. If many years ago we had had the necessary knowledge, and especially the necessary willingness on the part of the Federal Government, we would have saved a sum, a sum of money which has cost the taxpayers of America two billion dollars.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 4, address at Bonneville Dam (Sept. 28, 1937), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

The more I have studied American history and the more clearly I have seen what the problems are. I do believe that the common denominator of our great men in public life has not been mere allegiance to one political party but the disinterested devotion with which they have strived to serve the whole country. And the relative unimportance that they have ascribed to politics compared with the paramount importance of Government.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 6, Jackson Day dinner (Jan. 8, 1940), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

I believe that the fundamental proposition is that we must recognize that the hostilities in Europe, in Africa, and in Asia are all parts of a single world conflict. We must, consequently, recognize that our interests are menaced both in Europe and in the Far East.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. letter, January 21, 1941, to Grew; Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Search for Victory: American-Soviet Relations, 1939- 1945, p. 19, Scholarly Resources, Inc. (1990). The Papers of Joseph C. Grew (The Houghton Library of Harvard College Library, Cambridge, MA), b—S Am. 1687.8 (January 21, 1941), personal notes, No. 144, pp. 4792-4793.

General de Gaulle was a thoroughly bad boy. The day he arrived, he thought he was Joan of Arc and the following day he insisted that he was Georges Clemenceau.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. letter, Feb. 13, 1943, to John A. Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Letters, vol. 3, p. 457, ed. Elliott Roosevelt, George G. Harrup & Co., Ltd. (1952).

I do not know that the United States can save civilization but at least by our example we can make people think and give them the opportunity of saving themselves. The trouble is that the people of Germany, Italy and Japan are not given the privilege of thinking.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. letter, Dec. 2, 1935, to Ambassador William E. Dodd. The Roosevelt Letters, vol. 3, p. 163, ed. Elliott Roosevelt, George G. Harrup & Co., Ltd. (1952).

[F]rankly ... it was perfectly true that I had, for over a year, expressed the opinion that Indo-China should not go back to France but that it should be administered by an international trusteeship. France has had the country ... for nearly one hundred years, and the people are worse off than they were at the beginning.... France has milked it for one hundred years. The people of Indo-China are entitled to something better than that.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. letter, Jan. 24, 1944, to Cordell Hull. The Roosevelt Letters, vol. 3, p. 493, ed. Elliott Roosevelt, George G. Harrup & Co., Ltd. (1952).

Those words freedom and opportunity do not mean a license to climb upwards by pushing other people down. Any paternalistic system that tries to provide for security for everyone from above only calls for an impossible task and a regimentation utterly uncongenial to the spirit of our people.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 2, Young Democrats clubs (August 24, 1935), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

On this tenth day of June, nineteen hundred and forty, the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor.... In our unity, in our American unity we will pursue two obvious and simultaneous courses; we will extend to the opponents of force the material resources of this nation, and at the same time we will harness and speed up the use of those resources in order that we ourselves in the Americas may have equipment and training equal to the task of any emergency and every defense.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 6, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. (June 10, 1940), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up—or else all go down—as one people.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 3, second inaugural address—”One Third of a Nation” (March 4, 1937), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog Fala. Well, of course I don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, learning that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him—at a cost to the tax payers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. Jim Bishop, FDR’s Last Year, pp. 151-152, William Morrow & Co., Inc. (1972). FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 11, Teamster’s Union address—”Fala was furious” (September 23, 1944), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

This nation will remain a neutral nation, but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well. Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience. I have said not once but many times that I have seen war and that I hate war; I say that again and again. I hope the United States will keep out of this war, I believe that it will. And I give you assurance and reassurance that every effort of your government will be directed toward that end. As long as it remains within my power to prevent there will be no blackout of peace in the United States.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 5, Fireside Chat on war in Europe (Sept. 3, 1939), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

I have come to the conclusion that the closer people are to what may be called the front lines of government ... the easier it is to see the immediate underbrush, the individual tree trunks of the moment, and to forget the nobility the usefulness and the wide extent of the forest itself.... They forget that politics after all is only an instrument through which to achieve Government.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 6, Jackson Day dinner (Jan. 8, 1940), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

We shall make mistakes, but they must never be mistakes which result from faintness of heart or abandonment of moral principles. I remember that my old school master Dr. Peabody said in days that seemed to us then to be secure and untroubled, he said things in life will not always run smoothly, sometimes we will be rising toward the heights and all will seem to reverse itself and start downward. The great thing to remember is that the trend of civilization itself is forever upward.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 12, fourth inaugural address (Jan. 20, 1945), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

Our policy is to give all possible material aid to the nations that still resist aggression across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. And we make it abundantly clear that we intend to commit none of the fatal errors of appeasement. We have the thought that in this nation of many states we have found the way in which men of many racial origins may live together in peace. If the human race as a whole is to survive, the world must find a way by which men and nations may live together in peace. We cannot accept the doctrine that war must be forever a part of man’s destiny.
(Sun in Aquarius)
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 8, Cleveland campaign speech (Nov. 2, 1940), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.
(Neptune conjunct Saturn)
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 2, Young Democrats clubs (Aug. 24, 1935), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

Peace can endure only so long as humanity really insists upon it, and is willing to work for it and sacrifice for it. Twenty- five years ago American fighting men looked to the statesmen of the world to finish the work of peace for which they fought and suffered; we failed them, we failed them then, we cannot fail them again and expect the world to survive again.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 12, address to Congress on Yalta Conference (March 1, 1945), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

I see an America whose rivers and valleys and lakes, hills and streams and plains; the mountains over our land and nature’s wealth deep under the earth, are protected as the rightful heritage of all the people.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 8, Cleveland campaign speech (Nov. 2, 1940), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

We have our difficulties, true; but we are a wiser and a tougher nation than we were in 1932. Never have there been six years of such far flung internal preparedness in all of history. And this has been done without any dictator’s power to command, without conscription of labor or confiscation of capital, without concentration camps and without a scratch on freedom of speech, freedom of the press or the rest of the Bill of Rights.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 5, annual message to Congress (Jan. 4, 1939), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).

Responsibility for political conditions thousands of miles away can no longer be avoided, I think, by this great Nation. Certainly I don’t want to live to see another war. As I have said, the world is smaller, smaller every year. The United States now exerts a tremendous influence in the cause of peace. What we people over here are thinking and talking about is in the interest of peace because it is known all over the world. The slightest remark in either House of Congress is known all over the world the following day. We will continue to exert that influence only if we are willing to share in the responsibility of keeping the peace.
ATTRIBUTION: Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt’s public addresses), side 12, address to Congress on Yalta Conference (March 1, 1945), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).


Born January 30, 1882
Hyde Park, New York
Died April 12, 1945 (age 63)
Warm Springs, Georgia
Political party Democratic
Spouse Eleanor Roosevelt
Religion Episcopal

Roosevelt signing war declaration against Japan in 1941
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. A central figure of the 20th century, he has consistently been ranked as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents in scholarly surveys.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Roosevelt created the New Deal to provide relief for the unemployed, recovery of the economy, and reform of the economic system. His most famous legacies include the Social Security system and the regulation of Wall Street. His aggressive use of an active federal government reenergized the Democratic Party. Roosevelt built the New Deal coalition that dominated politics into the 1960s. He and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, remain touchstones for modern American liberalism. The conservatives vehemently fought back, but Roosevelt consistently prevailed until he tried to pack the Supreme Court in 1937. Thereafter, the new Conservative coalition successfully ended New Deal expansion, and closed most programs like the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps, arguing that unemployment had disappeared.

After 1938, Roosevelt championed re-armament and led the nation away from isolationism as the world headed into World War II. He provided extensive support to Winston Churchill and the British war effort before the attack on Pearl Harbor pulled the U.S. into the fighting. During the war, Roosevelt, working closely with his aide Harry Hopkins, provided decisive leadership against Nazi Germany and made the United States the principal arms supplier and financier of the Allies who defeated Germany, Italy and Japan. Roosevelt led the United States as it became the Arsenal of Democracy and put 16 million American men into uniform.

On the homefront his term saw the vast expansion of industry, the achievement of full employment, restoration of prosperity, new taxes that affected all income groups, price controls and rationing, 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans, as well as thousands of Italian Americans, sent to relocation camps, and new opportunities opened for African Americans and women. As the Allies neared victory, Roosevelt played a critical role in shaping the post-war world, particularly through the Yalta Conference and the creation of the United Nations. Roosevelt's administration redefined liberalism for subsequent generations and realigned the Democratic Party based on his New Deal coalition of labor unions, farmers, ethnic, religious and racial minorities, intellectuals, the South, big city machines, and the poor and workers on relief.

Personal life

Early life
See also: Roosevelt family and Delano family
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. His father, James Roosevelt, Sr., and his mother, Sara Ann Delano, were each from wealthy old New York families, of Dutch and French ancestry respectively. Franklin was their only child. His maternal grandfather, Warren Delano, Jr., made a fortune in the opium trade in China.[1]

Young Franklin Roosevelt, with his father and Helen R. Roosevelt, sailing in 1899Roosevelt grew up in an atmosphere of privilege. Sara was a possessive mother, while James was an elderly and remote father (he was 54 when Franklin was born). Sara was the dominant influence in Franklin's early years.[2] Frequent trips to Europe made Roosevelt conversant in German and French. He learned to ride, shoot, row, and play polo and lawn tennis.

Roosevelt went to Groton School, an Episcopal boarding school in Massachusetts. He was heavily influenced by the headmaster, Endicott Peabody, who preached the duty of Christians to help the less fortunate and urged his students to enter public service. Roosevelt completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard, where he lived in luxurious Adams House and was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. While at Harvard, he saw his fifth cousin Theodore Roosevelt become president, and Theodore's vigorous leadership style and reforming zeal made him Franklin's role model and hero. In 1902, he met his future wife Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Theodore's niece, at a White House reception. (They had previously met as children, but this was their first serious encounter.) Eleanor and Franklin were fifth cousins, once removed. They were both descended from the Dutchman Claes Martensz. van Rosenvelt (Roosevelt) who arrived in New Amsterdam (Manhattan) from the Netherlands in the 1640s. Roosevelt's two grandsons, Johannes and Jacobus, began the Oyster Bay and Hyde Park branches of the Roosevelt family. Eleanor and President Theodore Roosevelt were descended from the Johannes branch, while FDR was descended from the Jacobus branch.[3]

Franklin and Eleanor married two years later in 1905.

Roosevelt entered Columbia Law School in 1905, and, never graduating, he dropped out after only two years in 1907, because he had passed the New York State Bar exam. In 1908 he took a job with the prestigious Wall Street firm of Carter, Ledyard and Milburn, dealing mainly with corporate law.

Marriage and family life
See also: Roosevelt family
Roosevelt married Eleanor over the fierce resistance of his mother. They were married March 17, 1905, with Theodore Roosevelt standing in for Eleanor's deceased father Elliott. The young couple moved into a house bought for them by Roosevelt's mother, who became a frequent house guest, much to Eleanor's chagrin. Roosevelt was a charismatic, handsome, and socially active man. In contrast, Eleanor was shy and disliked social life, and at first stayed at home to raise their children. They had six children in rapid succession:

Anna Eleanor (1906–1975),
James (1907–1991),
Franklin Delano, Jr. (March 3, 1909–November 7, 1909),
Elliott (1910–1990),
a second Franklin Delano, Jr. (1914–1988), and
John Aspinwall (1916–1981).

Franklin and Eleanor at Campobello Island in 1905The five surviving Roosevelt children all led tumultuous lives overshadowed by their famous parents. They had among them nineteen marriages, fifteen divorces and twenty-nine children. All four sons were officers in World War II and were decorated, on merit, for bravery. Their postwar careers, whether in business or politics, were disappointing. Two of them were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (FDR, Jr. served three terms representing the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and James served six terms representing the 26th district in California) but none were elected to higher office despite several attempts.

Roosevelt found romantic outlets outside his marriage. One of these was with Eleanor's social secretary Lucy Mercer, with whom Roosevelt began an affair soon after she was hired in early 1914. In September 1918, Eleanor found letters in Franklin's luggage that revealed the affair. Eleanor confronted him with the letters and demanded a divorce. While the marriage survived, Eleanor established a separate house in Hyde Park at Valkill.

Early political career

State Senator
In 1910, Roosevelt ran for the New York State Senate from the district around Hyde Park (Dutchess County), which had not elected a Democrat since 1884. He entered the Roosevelt name, with its associated wealth, prestige and influence in the Hudson Valley, and the Democratic landslide that year carried him to the state capital of Albany, New York. Roosevelt entered the state house, January 1, 1911. He became a leader of a group of reformers who opposed Manhattan's Tammany Hall machine which dominated the state Democratic Party. Roosevelt soon became a popular figure among New York Democrats. Reelected for a second term November 5, 1912, he resigned from the New York State Senate on March 17, 1913.

FDR as Assistant Secretary for the Navy
Assistant Secretary of the Navywas appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by Woodrow Wilson in 1913. He served under Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels. In 1914, he was defeated in the Democratic primary for the United States Senate by Tammany Hall-backed James W. Gerard. From 1913 to 1917, Roosevelt worked to expand the Navy and founded the United States Navy Reserve. Wilson sent the Navy and Marines to intervene in Central American and Caribbean countries. In a series of speeches in his 1920 campaign for Vice President, Roosevelt claimed that he, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, had played a significant role in Latin American politics and had even written the constitution which the U.S. imposed on Haiti in 1915.[4]

Roosevelt developed a life-long affection for the Navy. He showed great administrative talent and quickly learned to negotiate with Congressional leaders and other government departments to get budgets approved. He became an enthusiastic advocate of the submarine and also of means to combat the German submarine menace to Allied shipping: he proposed building a mine barrage across the North Sea from Norway to Scotland. In 1918, he visited Britain and France to inspect American naval facilities; during this visit he met Winston Churchill for the first time. With the end of World War I in November 1918, he was in charge of demobilization, although he opposed plans to completely dismantle the Navy. In July 1920, Roosevelt resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

Campaign for Vice-President
The 1920 Democratic National Convention chose Roosevelt as the candidate for Vice President of the United States on the ticket headed by Governor James M. Cox of Ohio, helping build a national base, but the Cox-Roosevelt ticket was heavily defeated by Republican Warren Harding in the presidential election. Roosevelt then retired to a New York legal practice, but few doubted that he would soon run for public office again.

Paralytic illness
Main article: Franklin D. Roosevelt's paralytic illness
In August 1921, while the Roosevelts were vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Roosevelt contracted an illness, at the time believed to be polio, which resulted in Roosevelt's total and permanent paralysis from the waist down. For the rest of his life, Roosevelt refused to accept that he was permanently paralyzed. He tried a wide range of therapies, including hydrotherapy, and, in 1926, he purchased a resort at Warm Springs, Georgia, where he founded a hydrotherapy center for the treatment of polio patients which still operates as the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. After he became President, he helped to found the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now known as the March of Dimes). His leadership in this organization is one reason he is commemorated on the dime.

At the time, when the private lives of public figures were subject to less scrutiny than they are today, Roosevelt was able to convince many people that he was in fact getting better, which he believed was essential if he was to run for public office again. Fitting his hips and legs with iron braces, he laboriously taught himself to walk a short distance by swiveling his torso while supporting himself with a cane. In private, he used a wheelchair, but he was careful never to be seen in it in public. He usually appeared in public standing upright, supported on one side by an aide or one of his sons.

In 2003, a peer-reviewed study[5] found that it was more likely that Roosevelt's paralytic illness was actually Guillain-Barré syndrome, not poliomyelitis.

Governor of New York, 1928-1932
Main article: Franklin D. Roosevelt's terms as Governor of New York

Governor Roosevelt poses with Al Smith for a publicity shot in Albany, New York, 1930By 1928, Roosevelt believed he had recovered sufficiently to resume his political career. He had been careful to maintain his contacts in the Democratic Party and had allied himself with Alfred E. Smith, the current governor and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1928 election.

To gain the Democratic nomination for the election, Roosevelt had to make his peace with the Tammany Hall machine, which he did with some reluctance. Roosevelt was elected Governor by a narrow margin, and came to office in 1929 as a reform Democrat. As Governor, he established a number of new social programs, and began gathering the team of advisors he would bring with him to Washington four years later, including Frances Perkins and Harry Hopkins.

The main weakness of Roosevelt's gubernatorial administration was the corruption of the Tammany Hall machine in New York City. Roosevelt had made his name as an opponent of Tammany, but needed the machine's goodwill to be re-elected in 1930. As the 1930 election approached, Roosevelt set up a judicial investigation into the corrupt sale of offices. In 1930, Roosevelt was elected to a second term by a margin of more than 700,000 votes, defeating Republican Charles H. Tuttle.

1932 presidential election
Roosevelt's strong base in the most populous state made him an obvious candidate for the Democratic nomination, which was hotly contested since it seemed that incumbent Herbert Hoover would be vulnerable in the 1932 election. Al Smith was supported by some city bosses, but had lost control of the New York Democratic party to Roosevelt. Roosevelt built his own national coalition with personal allies such as newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Irish leader Joseph P. Kennedy, and California leader William G. McAdoo. When Texas leader John Nance Garner switched to FDR, he was given the vice presidential nomination.

The election campaign was conducted under the shadow of the Great Depression in the United States, and the new alliances which it created. Roosevelt and the Democratic Party mobilized the expanded ranks of the poor as well as organized labor, ethnic minorities, urbanites, and Southern whites, crafting the New Deal coalition. During the campaign, Roosevelt said: "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people", coining a slogan that was later adopted for his legislative program as well as his new coalition.[6]

Anton Cermak, seated to the left of Roosevelt, moments before he is shot.Economist Marriner Eccles observed that "given later developments, the campaign speeches often read like a giant misprint, in which Roosevelt and Hoover speak each other's lines."[7] Roosevelt denounced Hoover's failures to restore prosperity or even halt the downward slide, and he ridiculed Hoover's huge deficits. Roosevelt campaigned on the Democratic platform advocating "immediate and drastic reductions of all public expenditures," "abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating bureaus and eliminating extravagances reductions in bureaucracy," and for a "sound currency to be maintained at all hazards." On September 23, Roosevelt made the gloomy evaluation that, "Our industrial plant is built; the problem just now is whether under existing conditions it is not overbuilt. Our last frontier has long since been reached."[8] Hoover damned that pessimism as a denial of "the promise of American life . . . the counsel of despair."[9] The prohibition issue solidified the wet vote for Roosevelt, who noted that repeal would bring in new tax revenues.

Roosevelt won 57% of the vote and carried all but six states. After the election, Roosevelt refused Hoover's requests for a meeting to come up with a joint program to stop the downward spiral, claiming it would tie his hands. The economy spiralled downward until the banking system began a complete nationwide shutdown as Hoover's term ended. In February 1933, an assassin, Giuseppe Zangara, fired five shots at Roosevelt, missing him but killing Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak; historians agree that FDR, not the mayor, was the target.[citation needed]

First term, 1933-1937
See also: New Deal

President and Mrs. Roosevelt on Inauguration Day, 1933When Roosevelt was inaugurated in March 1933, the U.S. was at the nadir of the worst depression in its history. A quarter of the workforce was unemployed. Farmers were in deep trouble as prices fell by 60%. Industrial production had fallen by more than half since 1929. In a country with limited government social services outside the cities, two million were homeless. The banking system had collapsed completely. Beginning with his inauguration address, he began blaming the economic downturn on businessmen, the quest for profit, and the self-interest basis of capitalism:

Primarily this is because rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Historians categorized Roosevelt's program as "relief, recovery and reform". Relief was urgently needed by tens of millions of unemployed. Recovery meant boosting the economy back to normal. Reform meant long-term fixes of what was wrong, especially with the financial and banking systems. Roosevelt's series of radio talks, known as fireside chats, presented his proposals directly to the American public.[10]

First New Deal, 1933-1934
Roosevelt's "First 100 Days" concentrated on the first part of his strategy: immediate relief. From March 9 to June 16, 1933, he sent Congress a record number of bills, all of which passed easily. To propose programs, Roosevelt relied on leading Senators such as George Norris, Robert F. Wagner and Hugo Black, as well as his own Brain Trust of academic advisers. Like Hoover, he saw the Depression as partly a matter of confidence, caused in part by people no longer spending or investing because they were afraid to do so. He therefore set out to restore confidence through a series of dramatic gestures.

FDR's natural air of confidence and optimism did much to reassure the nation. His inauguration on March 4, 1933 occurred in the middle of a bank panic, hence the backdrop for his famous words: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."[11] The very next day he announced a plan to allow banks to reopen, which they largely did by the end of the month. This was his first proposed step to recovery.

Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother depicts destitute pea pickers during the depression in California, centering on Florence Owens Thompson, a mother of seven children, age 32, March 1936.Relief measures included the continuation of Hoover's major relief program for the unemployed under the new name, Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The most popular of all New Deal agencies, and Roosevelt's favorite, was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which hired 250,000 unemployed young men to work on rural local projects. Congress also gave the Federal Trade Commission broad new regulatory powers and provided mortgage relief to millions of farmers and homeowners. Roosevelt expanded a Hoover agency, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, making it a major source of financing to railroads and industry. Roosevelt made agriculture relief a high priority and set up the first Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA). The AAA tried to force higher prices for commodities by paying farmers to take land out of crops and to cut herds.
Reform of the economy was the goal of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of 1933. It tried to end cutthroat competition by forcing industries to come up with codes that established the rules of operation for all firms within specific industries, such as minimum prices, agreements not to compete, and production restrictions. Industry leaders negotiated the codes which were then approved by NIRA officials. Industry needed to raise wages as a condition for approval. Provisions encouraged unions and suspended anti-trust laws. The NIRA was found to be unconstitutional by unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 27, 1935. Roosevelt opposed the decision, saying "The fundamental purposes and principles of the NIRA are sound. To abandon them is unthinkable. It would spell the return to industrial and labor chaos."[12] In 1933, major new banking regulations were passed. In 1934, the Securities and Exchange Commission was created to regulate Wall Street, with 1932 campaign fundraiser Joseph P. Kennedy in charge.
Recovery was pursued through "pump-priming" (that is, federal spending). The NIRA included $3.3 billion of spending through the Public Works Administration to stimulate the economy, which was to be handled by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes. Roosevelt worked with Republican Senator George Norris to create the largest government-owned industrial enterprise in American history, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which built dams and power stations, controlled floods, and modernized agriculture and home conditions in the poverty-stricken Tennessee Valley. The repeal of prohibition also brought in new tax revenues and helped him keep a major campaign promise.
Roosevelt tried to keep his campaign promise by cutting the regular federal budget, including 40% cuts to veterans' benefits and cuts in overall military spending. He removed 500,000 veterans and widows from the pension rolls and slashed benefits for the remainder. Protests erupted, led by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Roosevelt held his ground, but when the angry veterans formed a coalition with Senator Huey Long and passed a huge bonus bill over his veto, he was defeated. He succeeded in cutting federal salaries and the military and naval budgets. He reduced spending on research and education—there was no New Deal for science until World War II began.

Roosevelt also kept his promise to push for repeal of Prohibition. In April 1933, he issued an Executive Order redefining 3.2% alcohol as the maximum allowed. That order was followed up by Congressional action in the drafting and passage of the 21st Amendment later that year.

Second New Deal, 1935-1936

Dust storms were frequent during the depression; this one occurred in Texas in 1935.After the 1934 Congressional elections, which gave Roosevelt large majorities in both houses, there was a fresh surge of New Deal legislation. These measures included the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which set up a national relief agency that employed two million family heads. However, even at the height of WPA employment in 1938, unemployment was still 12.5% according to figures from Michael Darby.[13]The Social Security Act, established Social Security and promised economic security for the elderly, the poor and the sick. Senator Robert Wagner wrote the Wagner Act, which officially became the National Labor Relations Act. The act established the federal rights of workers to organize unions, to engage in collective bargaining, and to take part in strikes.

While the First New Deal of 1933 had broad support from most sectors, the Second New Deal challenged the business community. Conservative Democrats, led by Al Smith, fought back with the American Liberty League, but it failed to mobilize much grass roots support[citation needed]. By contrast, the labor unions, energized by the Wagner Act, signed up millions of new members and became a major backer of Roosevelt's reelections in 1936, 1940 and 1944.[14]

Economic environment
See also: Unemployment and the New Deal and Effects of the Great Depression

Government spending increased from 8.0% of gross national product (GNP) under Hoover in 1932 to 10.2% of the GNP in 1936. Because of the depression, the national debt as a percentage of the GNP had doubled under Hoover from 16% to 33.6% of the GNP in 1932. While Roosevelt balanced the "regular" budget, the emergency budget was funded by debt, which increased to 40.9% in 1936, and then remained level until World War II, at which time it escalated rapidly.[15]

Deficit spending had been recommended by some economists, most notably by John Maynard Keynes of Britain. Some economists in retrospect have argued that the National Labor Relations Act and Agricultural Adjustment Administration were ineffective policies because they relied on price fixing.[16] The GNP was 34% higher in 1936 than in 1932 and 58% higher in 1940 on the eve of war. That is, the economy grew 58% from 1932 to 1940 in 8 years of peacetime, and then grew 56% from 1940 to 1945 in 5 years of wartime. However, the economic recovery did not absorb all the unemployment Roosevelt inherited. In his first term, unemployment fell by two-thirds from 25% when he took office to 9.1% in 1937 but then stayed high until it vanished during the war.[17]

During the war, the economy operated under such different conditions that comparison with peacetime is impossible. However, Roosevelt saw the New Deal policies as central to his legacy, and in his 1944 State of the Union Address, he advocated that Americans should think of basic economic rights as a Second Bill of Rights.

The U.S. economy grew rapidly during Roosevelt's term.[18] However, coming out of the depression, this growth was accompanied by continuing high levels of unemployment; as the median joblessness rate during the New Deal was 17.2%. Throughout his entire term, including the war years, average unemployment was 13%.[19][20] Total employment during Roosevelt's term expanded by 18.31 million jobs, with an average annual increase in jobs during his administration of 5.3%.[21]

Roosevelt raised income taxes on individuals and corporations only slightly before the war began, although payroll taxes were introduced to fund the new Social Security program in 1937. However, under the revenue pressures brought on by the depression, most states added or increased taxes, including sales as well as income taxes. Roosevelt's proposal for new taxes on corporate savings were highly controversial in 1936-37, and were rejected by Congress. During the war he pushed for higher income tax rates for individuals and corporations and a cap on high salaries for executive. In order to fund the war, Congress broadened the base so that almost every employee paid federal income taxes, and introduced withholding taxes. The national debt, which had soared under Hoover, remained fairtly stable until the war. [22]

Foreign policy, 1933-36
The rejection of the League of Nations treaty in 1919 marked the dominance of isolationism from world organizations in American foreign policy. Despite Roosevelt's Wilsonian background, he and Secretary of State Cordell Hull acted with great care not to provoke isolationist sentiment. Roosevelt's "bombshell" message to the world monetary conference in 1933 effectively ended any major efforts by the world powers to collaborate on ending the worldwide depression, and allowed Roosevelt a free hand in economic policy.[24]

The main foreign policy initiative of Roosevelt's first term was the Good Neighbor Policy, which was a re-evaluation of U.S. policy towards Latin America. Since the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, this area had been seen as an American sphere of influence. American forces were withdrawn from Haiti, and new treaties with Cuba and Panama ended their status as United States protectorates. In December 1933, Roosevelt signed the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, renouncing the right to intervene unilaterally in the affairs of Latin American countries.[25]

Landslide re-election, 1936
In the 1936 presidential election, Roosevelt campaigned on his New Deal programs against Kansas Governor Alf Landon, who accepted much of the New Deal but objected that it was hostile to business and involved too much waste. Roosevelt and Garner won 61% of the vote and carried every state except Maine and Vermont. The New Deal Democrats won even larger majorities in Congress. Roosevelt was backed by a coalition of voters which included traditional Democrats across the country, small farmers, the "Solid South", Catholics, big city machines, labor unions, northern African Americans, Jews, intellectuals and political liberals. This coalition, frequently referred to as the New Deal coalition, remained largely intact for the Democratic Party until the 1960s.[26]

Second term, 1937-1941

Roosevelt's ebullient public personality helped bolster the nation's confidence.In dramatic contrast to the first term, very little major legislation was passed in the second term. There was a United States Housing Authority (1937), a second Agricultural Adjustment Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, which created the minimum wage. When the economy began to deteriorate again in late 1937, Roosevelt responded with an aggressive program of stimulation, asking Congress for $5 billion for WPA relief and public works. This managed to eventually create a peak of 3.3 million WPA jobs by 1938.

The Supreme Court was the main obstacle to Roosevelt's programs during his first term, overturning many of his programs. In particular in 1935 the Court unanimously ruled that the National Recovery Act (NRA) was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the president. Roosevelt stunned Congress in early 1937 by proposing a law allowing him to appoint five new justices, a "persistent infusion of new blood". [27] This "court packing" plan ran into intense political opposition from his own party, led by Vice President Garner, since it seemed to upset the separation of powers and give the President control over the Court. Roosevelt's proposals were defeated. The Court also drew back from confrontation with the administration by finding the Labor Relations and Social Security Acts to be constitutional. Deaths and retirements on the Supreme Court soon allowed Roosevelt to make his own appointments to the bench with little controversy. Between 1937 and 1941, he appointed eight liberal justices to the court.[28]

Roosevelt had massive support from the rapidly growing labor unions, but now they split into bitterly feuding AFL and CIO factions, the latter led by John L. Lewis. Roosevelt pronounced a "plague on both your houses", but the disunity weakened the party in the elections from 1938 through 1946. [29]

Determined to overcome the opposition of conservative Democrats in Congress (mostly from the South), Roosevelt involved himself in the 1938 Democratic primaries, actively campaigning for challengers who were more supportive of New Deal reform. His targets denounced Roosevelt for trying to take over the Democratic party and used the argument that they were independent to win reelection. Roosevelt failed badly, managing to defeat only one target, a conservative Democrat from New York City. [30]

In the November 1938 election, Democrats lost six Senate seats and 71 House seats. Losses were concentrated among pro-New Deal Democrats. When Congress reconvened in 1939, Republicans under Senator Robert Taft formed a Conservative coalition with Southern Democrats, virtually ending Roosevelt's ability to get his domestic proposals enacted into law. The minimum wage law of 1938 was the last substantial New Deal reform act passed by Congress. [31]

Foreign policy, 1937-1941
The rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany aroused fears of a new world war. In 1935, at the time of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, Congress passed the Neutrality Act, applying a mandatory ban on the shipment of arms from the U.S. to any combatant nation. Roosevelt opposed the act on the grounds that it penalized the victims of aggression such as Ethiopia, and that it restricted his right as President to assist friendly countries, but public support was overwhelming so he signed it. In 1937, Congress passed an even more stringent act, but when the Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, public opinion favored China, and Roosevelt found various ways to assist that nation.[32]

In October 1937, he gave the Quarantine Speech aiming to contain aggressor nations. He proposed that warmongering states be treated as a public health menace and be "quarantined."[33]Meanwhile he secretly stepped up a program to build long range submarines that could blockade Japan. When World War II broke out in 1939, Roosevelt rejected the Wilsonian neutrality stance and sought ways to assist Britain and France militarily. He began a regular secret correspondence with Winston Churchill discussing ways of supporting Britain.

Roosevelt turned to Harry Hopkins for foreign policy advice, who became his chief wartime advisor. They sought innovative ways to help Britain, whose financial resources were exhausted by the end of 1940. Congress, where isolationist sentiment was in retreat, passed the Lend-Lease Act in March 1941, allowing the U.S. to give Britain, Russia, China and others $50 billion of military supplies 1941-45. In sharp contrast to the loans of World War I, there would be no repayment after the war. Roosevelt was a lifelong free trader and anti-imperialist, and ending European colonialism was one of his objectives. Roosevelt forged a close personal relationship with Churchill, who became Prime Minister of the UK in May 1940.

In May 1940, a stunning German blitzkrieg overran Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France, leaving Britain vulnerable to invasion. Roosevelt, who was determined to defend Britain, took advantage of the rapid shifts of public opinion. A consensus was clear that military spending had to be dramatically expanded. There was no consensus on how much the U.S. should risk war in helping Britain. FDR appointed two interventionist Republican leaders, Henry L. Stimson and Frank Knox, as Secretaries of War and the Navy respectively. The fall of Paris shocked American opinion, and isolationist sentiment declined. Both parties gave support to his plans to rapidly build up the American military, but the isolationists warned that Roosevelt would get the nation into an unnecessary war with Germany. He successfully urged Congress to enact the first peacetime draft in United States history in 1940 (it was renewed in 1941 by one vote in Congress). Roosevelt was supported by the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, and opposed by the America First Committee.

Roosevelt used his personal charisma to build support for intervention. America should be the "Arsenal of Democracy," he told his fireside audience.[34] In August, Roosevelt openly defied the Neutrality Acts by passing the Destroyers for Bases Agreement, which gave 50 American destroyers to Britain in exchange for base rights in the British Caribbean islands. This was a precursor of the March 1941 Lend-Lease agreement which began to direct massive military and economic aid to Britain, the Republic of China and the Soviet Union.

Third term, 1941-1945
The two-term tradition had been an unwritten rule since George Washington declined to run for a third term in 1796, and both Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt were attacked for trying to obtain a third non-consecutive term. FDR systematically undercut prominent Democrats who were angling for the nomination, including two cabinet members, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and James Farley, Roosevelt's campaign manager in 1932 and 1936, Postmaster General and Democratic Party chairman. Roosevelt moved the convention to Chicago where he had strong support from the city machine (which controlled the auditorium sound system). At the convention the opposition was poorly organized but Farley had packed the galleries. Roosevelt sent a message saying that he would not run, unless he was drafted, and that the delegates were free to vote for anyone. The delegates were stunned; then the loud speaker screamed "WE WANT ROOSEVELT...THE WORLD WANTS ROOSEVELT!" The delegates went wild and Roosevelt was nominated by 946 to 147. The new vice president was Henry A. Wallace, the liberal intellectual who was Secretary of Agriculture. [35]

In his campaign against Republican Wendell Willkie, Roosevelt stressed both his proven leadership experience and his intention to do everything possible to keep the United States out of war. Roosevelt won the 1940 election with 55% of the popular vote and 38 of the 48 states. A shift to the left within the Administration was shown by the naming of Henry A. Wallace as Vice President in place of the conservative Texan John Nance Garner, who had become a bitter enemy of Roosevelt after 1937.

Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at Argentia, Newfoundland aboard HMS Prince of Wales during their 1941 secret meeting to develop the Atlantic Charter.Roosevelt's third term was dominated by World War II, in Europe and in the Pacific. Roosevelt slowly began re-armament in 1938 since he was facing strong isolationist sentiment from leaders like Senators William Borah and Robert Taft who supported re-armament. By 1940, it was in high gear, with bipartisan support, partly to expand and re-equip the United States Army and Navy and partly to become the "Arsenal of Democracy" supporting Britain, France, China and (after June 1941), the Soviet Union. As Roosevelt took a firmer stance against the Axis Powers, American isolationists—including Charles Lindbergh and America First—attacked the President as an irresponsible warmonger. Unfazed by these criticisms and confident in the wisdom of his foreign policy initiatives, FDR continued his twin policies of preparedness and aid to the Allied coalition. On December 29, 1940, he delivered his Arsenal of Democracy fireside chat, in which he made the case for involvement directly to the American people, and a week later he delivered his famous Four Freedoms speech in January 1941, further laying out the case for an American defense of basic rights throughout the world.

The military buildup caused nationwide prosperity. By 1941, unemployment had fallen to under 1 million. There was a growing labor shortage in all the nation's major manufacturing centers, accelerating the Great Migration of African-American workers from the Southern states, and of underemployed farmers and workers from all rural areas and small towns. The homefront was subject to dynamic social changes throughout the war, though domestic issues were no longer Roosevelt's most urgent policy concerns.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Roosevelt extended Lend-Lease to the Soviets. During 1941, Roosevelt also agreed that the U.S. Navy would escort Allied convoys as far east as Britain and would fire upon German ships or submarines if they attacked Allied shipping within the U.S. Navy zone. Moreover, by 1941, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers were secretly ferrying British fighter planes between the UK and the Mediterranean war zones, and the British Royal Navy was receiving supply and repair assistance at American naval bases in the United States.

Thus, by mid-1941, Roosevelt had committed the U.S. to the Allied side with a policy of "all aid short of war."[36] Roosevelt met with Churchill on August 14, 1941, to develop the Atlantic Charter in what was to be the first of several wartime conferences. In July 1941, Roosevelt ordered Secretary of War Henry Stimson to begin planning for total American military involvement. The resulting "Victory Program," under the direction of Albert Wedemeyer, provided the President with the estimates necessary for the total mobilization of manpower, industry, and logistics to defeat the "potential enemies" of the United States.[37] The program also planned to dramatically increase aid to the Allied nations and to have ten million men in arms, half of whom would be ready for deployment abroad in 1943. Roosevelt was firmly committed to the Allied cause and these plans had been formulated before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.[38]

Pearl Harbor

Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany, December 1941See also: Attack on Pearl Harbor and Europe first
Roosevelt tried to keep Japan out of the war. After Japan occupied northern French Indo-China in late 1940, he authorized increased aid to the Republic of China. In July 1941, after Japan occupied the remainder of Indo-China, he cut off the sales of oil. Japan thus lost more than 95% of its oil supply. Roosevelt continued negotiations with the Japanese government in the hope of averting war. Meanwhile he started shifting the long-range B-17 bomber force to the Philippines, where it could threaten to fire-bomb Japanese cities.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, destroying or damaging most of it and killing more than 2,400 American military personnel and civilians. The Japanese took advantage of their preemptive destruction of most of the Pacific Fleet to rapidly occupy the Philippines and the British and Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia, taking Singapore in February 1942 and advancing through Burma to the borders of British India by May, cutting off the overland supply route to the Republic of China. Antiwar sentiment in the United States evaporated overnight and the country united behind Roosevelt.

Despite the wave of anger that swept across the U.S. in the wake of Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt decided from the start that the defeat of Nazi Germany had to take priority. On December 11, 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.[39] Roosevelt met with Churchill in late December and planned a broad informal alliance between the U.S., Britain, China and the Soviet Union, with the objectives of halting the German advances in the Soviet Union and in North Africa; launching an invasion of western Europe with the aim of crushing Nazi Germany between two fronts; and saving China and defeating Japan.

War strategy

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of China, Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill at the Cairo Conference in 1943See also: Origins of the Cold War
The "Big Three" (Roosevelt, Churchill, and Joseph Stalin), together with Chiang Kai-shek cooperated informally in which American and British troops concentrated in the West, Russian troops fought on the Eastern front, and Chinese, British and American troops fought in the Pacific. The Allies formulated strategy in a series of high profile conferences as well as contact through diplomatic and military channels. Roosevelt guaranteed that the U.S. would be the "Arsenal of Democracy" by shipping $50 billion of Lend Lease supplies, primarily to Britain and also to the USSR, China and other Allies.

The Pentagon (that is the Joint Chiefs of Staff) took the view that the quickest way to defeat Germany was to invade France across the English Channel. Churchill, wary of the casualties he feared this would entail, favored a more indirect approach, advancing northwards from the Mediterranean Sea. Roosevelt rejected this plan. Stalin advocated opening a Western front at the earliest possible time, as the bulk of the land fighting in 1942-44 was on Soviet soil.

The Allies undertook the invasions of French Morocco and Algeria (Operation Torch) in November 1942, of Sicily (Operation Husky) in July 1943, and of Italy (Operation Avalanche) in September 1943. The strategic bombing campaign was escalated in 1944, pulverizing all major German cities and cutting off oil supplies. It was a 50-50 British-American operation. Roosevelt picked Dwight D. Eisenhower, and not George Marshall, to head the Allied cross-channel invasion, Operation Overlord that began on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Some of the most costly battles of the war ensued after the invasion, and the Allies were blocked on the German border in the "Battle of the Bulge" in December 1944; when Roosevelt died Allied forces were closing in on Berlin.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the Japanese advance reached its maximum extent by June 1942, when the U.S. Navy scored a decisive victory at the Battle of Midway. American (and Australian) forces then began a slow and costly progress through the Pacific islands, with the objective of gaining bases from which strategic air power could be brought to bear on Japan and from which Japan could ultimately be invaded. Roosevelt gave way in part to insistent demands from the public and Congress that more effort be devoted against Japan; he always insisted on Germany first.

Post-war planning
By late 1943, it was apparent that the Allies would ultimately defeat Nazi Germany, and it became increasingly important to make high-level political decisions about the course of the war and the postwar future of Europe. Roosevelt met with Churchill and the Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek at the Cairo Conference in November 1943, and then went to Tehran to confer with Churchill and Stalin. At the Tehran Conference, Roosevelt and Churchill told Stalin about the plan to invade France in 1944, and Roosevelt also discussed his plans for a postwar international organization. For his part, Stalin insisted on the redrawing the frontiers of Poland. Stalin supported Roosevelt's plan for the United Nations and promised to enter the war against Japan 90 days after Germany was defeated.

The "Big Three" Allied leaders (left to right) at Yalta in February, 1945: Churchill, Roosevelt and StalinBy the beginning of 1945, however, with the Allied armies advancing into Germany and the Soviets in control of Poland, the issues had to come out into the open. In February, Roosevelt, despite his steadily deteriorating health, traveled to Yalta, in the Soviet Crimea, to meet again with Stalin and Churchill. After the war Polish Americans criticized the Yalta Conference for legitimizing Soviet control of Eastern Europe. However, Roosevelt had already lost control of the situation, and put all his hopes on postwar deals with Stalin.

Fourth term and death, 1945
Roosevelt, only 62 in 1944, was in declining health since at least 1940. The strain of his paralysis and the physical exertion needed to compensate for it for over 20 years had taken their toll, as had many years of stress and a lifetime of chain-smoking. He had high blood pressure and long-term heart disease. Aware of the risk that Roosevelt would die during his fourth term, the party regulars insisted that Henry A. Wallace, who was seen as too pro-Soviet, be dropped as Vice President. After considering James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, Roosevelt replaced Wallace with the little known Senator Harry S. Truman. In the 1944 election, Roosevelt and Truman won 53% of the vote and carried 36 states, against New York Governor Thomas Dewey.

When he addressed Congress on his return from Yalta, many were shocked to see how old, thin and sick he looked. He spoke while seated in the well of the House, an unprecedented concession to his physical incapacity. But mentally he was still in full command. "The Crimean Conference," he said firmly, "ought to spell the end of a system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries — and have always failed. We propose to substitute for all these, a universal organization in which all peace-loving nations will finally have a chance to join."[40]

Roosevelt's funeral processionDuring March and early April 1945, he sent strongly worded messages to Stalin accusing him of breaking his Yalta commitments over Poland, Germany, prisoners of war and other issues. When Stalin accused the western Allies of plotting a separate peace with Hitler behind his back, Roosevelt replied: "I cannot avoid a feeling of bitter resentment towards your informers, whoever they are, for such vile misrepresentations of my actions or those of my trusted subordinates."[41]

On March 30, 1945, Roosevelt went to Warm Springs to rest before his anticipated appearance at the founding conference of the United Nations. On the morning of April 12, Roosevelt said, "I have a terrific headache." He was to never speak again. The doctor diagnosed that he had suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and as Allen Drury once said “so ended an era, and so began another”. Lucy Mercer, his former mistress, was with him at the time of his death. In his latter years at the White House, Roosevelt was increasingly overworked and his daughter Anna Roosevelt Boettiger had moved in to provide her father companionship and support. Anna had also arranged for her father to meet with the now widowed Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd. When Eleanor heard about her husband's death, she was also faced with the hurtful news that Anna had been arranging these meetings with Lucy and that Lucy had been with Franklin when he died.

Roosevelt's death was met with shock and grief across the U.S. and around the world. At a time when the press did not pry into the health or private lives of presidents, his declining health had not been known to the general public. Roosevelt had been President for more than 12 years, longer than any other person, and had led the country through some of its greatest crises to the impending defeat of Nazi Germany and to within sight of the defeat of Japan as well.

Roosevelt was interred at the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site at Hyde Park in Dutchess County, New York. It is interesting to note that FDR was laid to rest in the same town where he was born.

Less than a month after his death, on May 8, came the moment Roosevelt fought for: V-E Day. President Harry Truman dedicated V-E Day and its celebrations to Roosevelt's memory, paying tribute to his commitment towards ending the war in Europe.

Civil rights issues
See also: Franklin D. Roosevelt's record on civil rights
Roosevelt's record on civil rights has been the subject of much controversy. He was a hero to large minority groups, especially African-Americans, Catholics and Jews. African-Americans and Native Americans fared well in the New Deal relief programs, although they were not allowed to hold significant leadership roles in the WPA and CCC. Roosevelt needed the support of Southern Democrats for his New Deal programs, and therefore decided not to push for anti-lynching legislation that might threaten his ability to pass his highest priority programs. Roosevelt was highly successful in attracting large majorities of African-Americans, Jews and Catholics into his New Deal Coalition. Beginning in 1941 Roosevelt issued a series of executive orders designed to guarantee racial, religious and ethnic minorities a fair share of the new wartime jobs. He pushed for admission of African-Americans into better positions in the military. In 1942 Roosevelt made the final decision in ordering the internment of Japanese Americans and other ethnic groups during World War II. Beginning in the 1960s he was charged[42] with not acting decisively enough to prevent or stop the Holocaust which killed 6 million Jews. Critics cite episodes such as when in 1939, the 950 Jewish refugees on board the SS St. Louis were denied asylum and not allowed into the United States.

A 1999 survey of academic historians by CSPAN found that historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Roosevelt the three greatest presidents by a wide margin, and other surveys are consistent.[43] Roosevelt is the sixth most admired person from the 20th century by US citizens, according to Gallup.[44]

The Four Freedoms engraved on a wall at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in WashingtonBoth during and after his terms, critics of Roosevelt questioned not only his policies and positions, but also the consolidation of power that occurred because of his lengthy tenure as president, his service during two major crises, and his enormous popularity. The rapid expansion of government programs that occurred during Roosevelt's term redefined the role of the government in the United States, and Roosevelt's advocacy of government social programs was instrumental in redefining liberalism for coming generations.[45]

Roosevelt firmly established the United States' leadership role on the world stage, with pronouncements such as his Four Freedoms speech forming a basis for the active role of the United States in the war and beyond. The decisions made at the Yalta Conference established international alliances and boundaries that continue to affect world diplomacy today.

After Franklin's death, Eleanor Roosevelt continued to be a forceful presence in U.S. and world politics, serving as delegate to the conference which established the United Nations and championing civil rights. Many members of his administration played leading roles in the administrations of Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, each of whom embraced Roosevelt's political legacy.[46]

Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park is now a National historic site and home to his Presidential library. His retreat at Warm Springs, Georgia is a museum operated by the state of Georgia. The Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center Museum, with a large collection of Roosevelt and New Deal materials, is in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Roosevelt memorial is located in Washington, D.C. next to the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin, and Roosevelt's image appears on the Roosevelt dime. Many parks, schools, roads, an aircraft carrier and a Paris Métro station have been named in his honor, as well as smaller places such as a high school in Puerto Cortés, Honduras. Twelve days after his death in 1945, Thomas Jefferson College in Chicago was renamed after FDR with Eleanor's blessing.

He was the fifth cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, and the fourth cousin once removed of Ulysses S. Grant.
His wife Eleanor, the daughter of one of Theodore Roosevelt's brothers, was his "fifth cousin once removed" in genealogical terminology.
His coat of arms features roses and ostrich plumes, and is similar to that of Theodore Roosevelt.[47]

"It is becoming increasingly clear that peace by fear has no higher or more enduring quality than peace by the sword.There can be no peace if the reign of law is to be replaced by a recurrent sanctification of sheer force.There can be no peace if national policy adopts as a deliberate instrument the threat of war.There can be no peace if national policy adopts as a deliberate instrument the dispersion all over the world of millions of helpless and persecuted wanderers with no place to lay their heads.There can be no peace if humble men and women are not free to think their own thoughts, to express their own feelings, to worship God. There can be no peace if economic resources that ought to be devoted to social and economic reconstruction are to be diverted to an intensified competition in armaments which will merely heighten the suspicions and fears and threaten"

Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd President of the United States
was born in Hyde Park, New York on January 30, 1882, the son of James Roosevelt and Sara Delano Roosevelt. His parents and private tutors provided him with almost all his formative education. He attended Groton (1896-1900), a prestigious preparatory school in Massachusetts, and received a BA degree in history from Harvard in only three years (1900-03). Roosevelt next studied law at New York's Columbia University. When he passed the bar examination in 1907, he left school without taking a degree. For the next three years he practiced law with a prominent New York City law firm. He entered politics in 1910 and was elected to the New York State Senate as a Democrat from his traditionally Republican home district.

In the meantime, in 1905, he had married a distant cousin, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. The couple had six children, five of whom survived infancy: Anna (1906), James (1907), Elliott (1910), Franklin, Jr. (1914) and John (1916).

Roosevelt was reelected to the State Senate in 1912, and supported Woodrow Wilson's candidacy at the Democratic National Convention. As a reward for his support, Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913, a position he held until 1920. He was an energetic and efficient administrator, specializing in the business side of naval administration. This experience prepared him for his future role as Commander-in-Chief during World War II. Roosevelt's popularity and success in naval affairs resulted in his being nominated for vice-president by the Democratic Party in 1920 on a ticket headed by James M. Cox of Ohio. However, popular sentiment against Wilson's plan for US participation in the League of Nations propelled Republican Warren Harding into the presidency, and Roosevelt returned to private life.

While vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick in the summer of 1921, Roosevelt contracted poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis). Despite courageous efforts to overcome his crippling illness, he never regained the use of his legs. In time, he established a foundation at Warm Springs, Georgia to help other polio victims, and inspired, as well as directed, the March of Dimes program that eventually funded an effective vaccine.

With the encouragement and help of his wife, Eleanor, and political confidant, Louis Howe, Roosevelt resumed his political career. In 1924 he nominated Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York for president at the Democratic National Convention, but Smith lost the nomination to John W. Davis. In 1928 Smith became the Democratic candidate for president and arranged for Roosevelt's nomination to succeed him as governor of New York. Smith lost the election to Herbert Hoover; but Roosevelt was elected governor.

Following his reelection as governor in 1930, Roosevelt began to campaign for the presidency. While the economic depression damaged Hoover and the Republicans, Roosevelt's bold efforts to combat it in New York enhanced his reputation. In Chicago in 1932, Roosevelt won the nomination as the Democratic Party candidate for president. He broke with tradition and flew to Chicago to accept the nomination in person. He then campaigned energetically calling for government intervention in the economy to provide relief, recovery, and reform. His activist approach and personal charm helped to defeat Hoover in November 1932 by seven million votes.

The Depression worsened in the months preceding Roosevelt's inauguration, March 4, 1933. Factory closings, farm foreclosures, and bank failures increased, while unemployment soared. Roosevelt faced the greatest crisis in American history since the Civil War. He undertook immediate actions to initiate his New Deal. To halt depositor panics, he closed the banks temporarily. Then he worked with a special session of Congress during the first "100 days" to pass recovery legislation which set up alphabet agencies such as the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) to support farm prices and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to employ young men. Other agencies assisted business and labor, insured bank deposits, regulated the stock market, subsidized home and farm mortgage payments, and aided the unemployed. These measures revived confidence in the economy. Banks reopened and direct relief saved millions from starvation. But the New Deal measures also involved government directly in areas of social and economic life as never before and resulted in greatly increased spending and unbalanced budgets which led to criticisms of Roosevelt's programs. However, the nation-at-large supported Roosevelt, elected additional Democrats to state legislatures and governorships in the mid-term elections.

Another flurry of New Deal legislation followed in 1935 including the establishment of the Works Projects Administration (WPA) which provided jobs not only for laborers but also artists, writers, musicians, and authors, and the Social Security act which provided unemployment compensation and a program of old-age and survivors' benefits.

Roosevelt easily defeated Alfred M. Landon in 1936 and went on to defeat by lesser margins, Wendell Willkie in 1940 and Thomas E. Dewey in 1944. He thus became the only American president to serve more than two terms.

After his overwhelming victory in 1936, Roosevelt took on the critics of the New deal, namely, the Supreme Court which had declared various legislation unconstitutional, and members of his own party. In 1937 he proposed to add new justices to the Supreme Court, but critics said he was "packing" the Court and undermining the separation of powers. His proposal was defeated, but the Court began to decide in favor of New Deal legislation. During the 1938 election he campaigned against many Democratic opponents, but this backfired when most were reelected to Congress. These setbacks, coupled with the recession that occurred midway through his second term, represented the low-point in Roosevelt's presidential career.

By 1939 Roosevelt was concentrating increasingly on foreign affairs with the outbreak of war in Europe. New Deal reform legislation diminished, and the ills of the Depression would not fully abate until the nation mobilized for war.

When Hitler attacked Poland in September 1939, Roosevelt stated that, although the nation was neutral, he did not expect America to remain inactive in the face of Nazi aggression. Accordingly, he tried to make American aid available to Britain, France, and China and to obtain an amendment of the Neutrality Acts which rendered such assistance difficult. He also took measures to build up the armed forces in the face of isolationist opposition.

With the fall of France in 1940, the American mood and Roosevelt's policy changed dramatically. Congress enacted a draft for military service and Roosevelt signed a "lend-lease" bill in March 1941 to enable the nation to furnish aid to nations at war with Germany and Italy. America, though a neutral in the war and still at peace, was becoming the "arsenal of democracy", as its factories began producing as they had in the years before the Depression.

The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, followed four days later by Germany's and Italy's declarations of war against the United States, brought the nation irrevocably into the war. Roosevelt exercised his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, a role he actively carried out. He worked with and through his military advisers, overriding them when necessary, and took an active role in choosing the principal field commanders and in making decisions regarding wartime strategy.

He moved to create a "grand alliance" against the Axis powers through "The Declaration of the United Nations," January 1, 1942, in which all nations fighting the Axis agreed not to make a separate peace and pledged themselves to a peacekeeping organization (now the United Nations) on victory.

He gave priority to the western European front and had General George Marshall, Chief of Staff, plan a holding operation in the Pacific and organize an expeditionary force for an invasion of Europe. The United States and its allies invaded North Africa in November 1942 and Sicily and Italy in 1943. The D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches in France, June 6, 1944, were followed by the allied invasion of Germany six months later. By April 1945 victory in Europe was certain.

The unending stress and strain of the war literally wore Roosevelt out. By early 1944 a full medical examination disclosed serious heart and circulatory problems; and although his physicians placed him on a strict regime of diet and medication, the pressures of war and domestic politics weighed heavily on him. During a vacation at Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 12, 1945, he suffered a massive stroke and died two and one-half hours later without regaining consciousness. He was 63 years old. His death came on the eve of complete military victory in Europe and within months of victory over Japan in the Pacific. President Roosevelt was buried in the Rose Garden of his estate at Hyde Park, New York .



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