Monday, April 20, 2009

So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term In Office? (10)

Topic: The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration 1933-1945 Intro.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the first President to serve more than two terms and the first to be inaugurated January 20. The only son of a railroad executive Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882. Most of his early education was from governesses and tutors and every year he went to Europe with his parents. The similarity between Mr. Roosevelt and his fifth cousin Theodore Roosevelt was that they both were of considerable wealth, both went to Harvard , both began their political careers in New York and most of all both became president. As reformers and leaders of social and economic revolutions (T.R.'s "Square Deal" and F.D.R.'s "New Deal") they were both detested and adored.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during the greatest depression and the greatest war in the history of the world, and he defeated them both. Just before paralysis struck him in August, 1921, the thirty-nine-year-old Roosevelt stood six feet, two inches, weighed about 175 pounds and was in vibrant health. After a day of vigorous exertion, followed by a swim in the icy waters of the Bay of Fundy, Roosevelt went to bed with a chill. The next morning he had a high temperature and complained of acute pain in the legs. In a few days they were paralyzed. He never again stood unaided.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was fifty- one when he took the oath of office, a year younger than Lincoln when he was inaugurated. Just like Lincoln he faced a grave national crisis and immediately went into action. "Action and action now" was F.D.R.'s inaugural promise, and action was what the country got. Roosevelt's smile, soothing voice and supreme self-confidence drove some men to fury, while others found it irresistible was able to encourage a fear-ridden nation to overcome the "Great Depression" and assemble the mightiest military the world had ever seen to free the enslaved people of three continents..

He was the first president to leave the country during a war, Roosevelt conferred with Churchill at Casablanca, Morocco, in January, 1943 to plan military strategy following the North African invasion of the previous fall. At Teheran, Iran, F.D.R., Churchill and Stalin met together (for the first time) to discuss the invasion of Western Europe.

During the first 100 days as President, Roosevelt 's first duty was to restore confidence to the stricken nation and get it back on its feet. He stressed throughout his messages the element of "Hope", inflating the deflated spirits of the American people, like a child blowing up a balloon. The American people, clinging to the words of his inaugural address and first fireside chat soon afterwards, felt he was their leader, their friend and that he would pull them through this horrendous crisis and save them from any further catastrophe no matter what. In doing this , a sigh of relief could be heard across the entire nation. It is said that Roosevelt always strove to work with Congress. President Roosevelt did more during his first 100 days to alter the basic structure of the nation's economic life than anybody else had done in 100 years.

"Happy Days Are Here Again," was his favorite campaign song., and through his term in office the people of the United States elected him president four times_a greater honor and trust than ever given another man.

As president he believed that the role of any president was "to preserve under the changing conditions of each generation, a people's government for the people's good."

To be continued: The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration 1933-1945 Intro. (2)


No comments: