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American Presidents:  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President 1932 – 1945

January 22, 2016
Plain English Version
FDR declaring the start of World War II after Pearl Harbor.

FDR declaring the start of World War II after Pearl Harbor.

Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) was the most famous president of the 20th century. He led America through the Great Depression and World War II. He died while still in office.

He was the only American president elected four times. After his death, the Constitution was changed. It now limits a president to two terms.

FDR had polio. He lived in his wheel chair. He stood up and grasped hand rails when he gave speeches.

He was the first modern president. He started the New Deal. He gave the Social Security program to America. He helped trade unions. He created programs for the poor and unemployed. His public works programs changed the face of the nation. Most Americans think he played a huge role in bringing the country through its worst financial crisis. These words inspired the nation.

At the start of the Depression, he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Would the country have come out of the Depression on its own? Many Republicans and businessmen thought it would.  It is a theory that cannot be proven.

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the U.S. declared war on Japan. At the start of the war, FDR said, “December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.”

During the war, there were many who believed America should have bombed the concentration camps. It might have saved millions of Jews and others from death.

Along with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he led the war effort to victory over Japan, Germany and Italy.

FDR was a Democrat. His detractors were Republicans. Times have not changed that much

However, Looking back, legions of Americans think President Roosevelt was the greatest leader since Abraham Lincoln. He was  in charge in the right place at the right time.

No American politician rivals this president. No one is on the horizon.

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