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Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano                      Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Roosevelt (January 30,
1882 - April 12, 1945),
often referred to as                     Roosevelt in 1944
FDR, was the 32nd       Order:           32nd President
(1933-1945) President   Term of Office:  March 4, 1933 - April 12, 1945
of the United States.
He was elected to an    Followed:        Herbert Hoover
unprecedented four      Succeeded by:    Harry S. Truman
terms of office - the
only U.S. president     Date of Birth    Monday, January 30, 1882
elected more than       Place of Birth:  Hyde Park, New York
twice, and part of the  Date of Death:   Thursday, April 12, 1945
reason the United
States Constitution was Place of Death:  Warm Springs, Georgia
amended to limit        First Lady:      Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
presidents to 2 terms  Profession:      lawyer
(10 years). His main
contributions were the  Political Party: Democrat
instituting of major                        * John N. Garner (1933-1941)
economic and social     Vice President:     * Henry A. Wallace (1941-1945)
assistance programs,                        * Harry S Truman (1945)
leading the country
through a successful
involvement in World War II, and the formation of the United Nations.

He was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York, and died on April
12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia of a cerebral hemorrhage, leaving the
famous Unfinished Portrait. He suffered from polio at the age of 39, which
left him with severe difficulty in moving his legs. He often used a
wheelchair when moving from one place or another. He took efforts to hide
this disability throughout his life, and he tried not to be seen in his
wheelchair. When a statue in his honor was commissioned in Washington, DC in
2001, controversy erupted because the statue consisted of Roosevelt sitting
in a wheelchair. This was seen by many as a move towards political
correctness, while some have even described it as a form of historical
revisionism. Because of his polio, he spent much of his time in Warm
Springs, whose namesake warm springs provided him and others relief from
their symptoms, and where he built the Little White House, now a Georgia
state historic site. He also created the town's Roosevelt Warm Springs
Institute for Rehabilitation, which continues to help others with
disabilities to this day.

He graduated from Ivy League Harvard University in 1904, and from Ivy League
Columbia Law School with a J.D. in 1908 before taking a job with a
prestigious Wall Street firm. On St. Patrick's Day, 1905, he married Anna
Eleanor Roosevelt, a distant cousin, who was the favorite niece of Theodore
Roosevelt, his fifth cousin. Government Positions include: Assistant
Secretary of the Navy, 1913-1920; Governor of New York, 1929-1933.

Roosevelt's Presidential campaign in 1932 saw the New York governor
committing himself to battling the Great Depression, promoting a platform
with "Three R's - relief, recovery and reform." He coined the term "New
Deal" when he stated: "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the
American people." On February 15, 1933 after his victory in the 1932
election, President-elect Roosevelt was nearly assassinated in Miami,
Florida (the assassin did manage to kill Chicago, Illinois Mayor Anton J.
Cermak). In reference to the Great Depression, Roosevelt gave his "We have
nothing to fear, but fear itself" inauguration speech (March 4, 1933).
Roosevelt's first weeks in office were called The Hundred Days, as during
the first part of his administration he authored and approved a flurry of
Congressional acts to institute immediate change and keep the nation's
economy from destabilizing. He insituted a four-day "banking holiday" two
days after he took office: a four-day period in which all banks in the
country closed, allowing the institutions a brief period to recover and
reorganize. During this time of crisis Roosevelt addressed the nation for
the first time as President on March 12, 1933 in the first of many "Fireside Chats."

Of the various reform programs initiated by the Roosevelt administration,
the most far-reaching and influential was the institution of the Social
Security system, a form of welfare that was meant to provide support for
low-income and elderly citizens.

In 1935-1936, the Supreme Court, which was dominated by conservatives with a
narrow view of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution, the basis
of much New Deal legislation, struck down eight of FDR's New Deal programs.
In response Roosevelt submitted to Congress in February of 1937 a plan for
"judicial reform," which proposed adding a justice for every justice over
the age of 70 who refused to retire, up to a maximum of 15 total. This came
to be known as his attempt to "pack" the Court.

In 1937, Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on
January 20th, following adoption of the Twentieth Amendment to the United
States Constitution. Prior to this, presidents had been sworn into office on
March 4th.

Campaigning for re-election in 1940 against Wendell L. Willkie, Roosevelt
said that he would not send American boys to fight in foreign wars. On
November 26, 1941, Cordell Hull sent the Hull note to Japan, which
inevitably led Japan to start a war against the U.S. Some have suggested
Roosevelt had prior knowledge of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor and welcomed it as a way to get the U.S. into World War II.
Others point out, that while U.S. code-breakers had broken Japanese codes in
Washington, D.C. and knew something was about to happen, communication
delays prevented the messages from getting to Pearl Harbor until 4 hours
after the attack.

On January 14, 1943 Roosevelt became the first President of the United
States to travel via airplane while in office with his flight from Miami,
Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill to discuss World War II.
The meeting was concluded on January 24.

In hindsight, perhaps the most controversial decision Roosevelt made was
Executive Order 9066 which resulted in the internment in concentration camps
of 110,000 Japanese nationals and American citizens of Japanese descent on
the West Coast. Considered a major violation of civil liberties, it was even
opposed at the time by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover as well as Eleanor
Roosevelt as well as many other groups. The Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of the Executive Order. Others have criticised him for
failing to do anything to disrupt the Nazi operations in perpetrating the
Holocaust despite having intelligence of the atrocity.

Some have said of all the American Presidents of the 20th century, that he
was the most loved and most hated. He was so well known, he was referred to
by his initials, FDR. Historians have often cited him as one of the three
United States Presidents whose influence and leadership set a standard for
greatness, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Roosevelt was the first President to regularly address the American public
through the medium of radio. He instituted a tradition of weekly radio
speeches, which he called "fireside chats." These "chats" gave him the
opportunity to take his opinions to the American people, and they often
bolstered his popularity as he campaigned for various changes. During World
War II the Fireside Chats were seen as important morale boosters for
Americans at home.

One speech he is famous for delivering was his State of the Union Address in
1941. This speech is also known as the Four Freedoms Speech. His address to
Congress and the nation on December 8, 1941 following the attack on Pearl
Harbor entered history with the phrase, "December Seventh, 1941 - a date
which will live in infamy."

Agencies founded during Roosevelt's Presidency

   * Tennessee Valley Authority (1933)
   * Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
   * Public Works Administration (PWA)
   * Works Progress Administration (WPA)
   * Social Security Administration
   * Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

Supreme Court appointments

   * Hugo Black (AL) August 19, 1937 - September 17, 1971
   * Stanley Forman Reed (KY) January 31, 1938 - February 25, 1957
   * Felix Frankfurter (MA) January 30, 1939 - August 28, 1962
   * William O. Douglas (CT) April 17, 1939 - November 12, 1975
   * Frank Murphy (MI) February 5, 1940 - July 19, 1949
   * Harlan Fiske Stone (Chief Justice, NY) July 3, 1941 - April 22, 1946
   * James Francis Byrnes (SC) July 8, 1941 - October 3, 1942
   * Robert H. Jackson (NY) July 11, 1941 - October 9, 1954
   * Wiley Blount Rutledge (IA) February 15, 1943 - September 10, 1949
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