January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born.
James Roosevelt, Franklin’s father, was a prosperous railroad official and
landowner (Lawson 25). Hispredecessors, when they came from the Netherlands,
were succes Roosevelt learned from private tutors, not going to school until the
age of fourteen. He had already studied German, Latin and French by the time he
had started school(Freidel 6). Sailing, bird hunting and stamp collecting were
among his hobbies. On his In 1896, at the age of fourteen his parents sent him
away to Groton, Massachusetts, to a private, boys only, boarding school. He was
not very popular among the students, but was respected by his peers and was
never the object of pranks pulled by the ol From there, Roosevelt went on to
enter Harvard in 1900. There too Roosevelt remained an average student, making
it through with a C average most of the time(Hacker 19). At Harvard, his social
activities took preference over his academic pursuit and the In 1903 Roosevelt
graduated from Harvard and entered the Columbia Law School. He dropped out in
his third year after passing the New York bar examination(Hacker 24). Soon
after, Roosevelt started practicing law with a New York law firm. While still in
law school, Roosevelt met Anna Eleanor Roosevelt a distant cousin, only a few
years younger than him(Alsop 28). They were married on St. Patrick’s day, March
17th, 1905(Freidel 13).
was twenty-three and she was twenty-one. Her fathe A few years later in 1910,
Roosevelt accepted the Democratic nomination for the New York State
Senate(Freidel 17). He won the elections, and in the following January he
entered the Senate at the young age of twenty-eight(Freidel 18). Later in 1912
he ra In July of 1921, while vacationing at Campobello Island, he went sailing
with his children. One day, they saw, what appeared to be a forest fire, on a
nearby island they quickly sailed to shore to help put out the fire. It took a
couple of hours and w was able to walk in the pool unaided. His disease,
poliomyelitis, had affected him on land but in the water he was as quick as
anyone. In 1926 he bought Warm Springs for $200,000(Hacker 40). In 1927 he
contributed two-thirds of his wealth(Freidel 47) a His physical disabilities
didn’t hinder his climb of the political ladder. In 1928 Roosevelt ran for
governor of New York and won the election with a large margin. One of his main
goals was that the state should own the electric companies and other util In
October of 1929, when Roosevelt was still Governor, the stock market suddenly
collapsed. This caused nation-wide panic. Grain and cotton prices dropped
tremendously due to an overabundant supply, and many farmers were out of jobs.
Rapidly, people w Roosevelt did not run for the presidency in 1928 because that
year, most of the country was in favor of a Republican candidate for president.
Four years later in 1932, a week before his fiftieth birthday, Roosevelt
announced his candidacy for president Through his campaign speeches he preached
of a ‘New Deal’ for the American people, one that would lift them out of the
depression. Now he was going to fulfill his promise.
did not sit back and watch the country take itself out of a depression. Guests
would be permitted to reopen and those that could not, wouldn’t. Banks that
couldn’t meet withdrawals requests would, together with federal aid, meet the
withdrawal demands(Lawson 48). Of the nineteen thousand banks, only about
twenty-four hundred Like he said in campaign speeches, “If I were elected
President, my first step would be to mobilize the country for war on
unemployment”(Woolf). This is exactly what he started to do. Another main
bill passed in the hundred days was the Civilian Conserv He also signed into law
one of the most important laws that today helps back up our bank system. Until
that time there was no insurance to cover for banks that went bankrupt or
collapsed. The Banking Act of 1933 changed all of this. The government put a He
also accomplished many things, which greatly boosted the economy. He reduced the
1934 federal budget by 13%. Although he often spoke that the American Navy and
Marines should be the best in the world, he was not hesitant in cutting the 1934
defense bud On August 14, 1935 he signed into law the Social Security Act. This
act offered protection to the needy and old through pensions and public aid, and
promoted unemployment insurance. He ran again for a second term in 1936 against
Alfred M. Landon of Kansas and beat him by well over eleven million of the
popular vote, and won 523 out of the total 531 electoral votes, the biggest
landslide since James Monroe defeated John Quincy Adams Again he ran for a third
term in 1940 against Henry A. Wallace. He beat his opponent 449 to 82 in the
ran for last time in 1944, and won again with an easy margin. On March 30, 1945,
Roosevelt returned to Warm Springs to take a rest from the presidency. On April
12 the only president in American history to serve more than two terms had died.
He served his people more than twelve years and had now taken his final road.
Alsop, Joseph, FDR, A Centenary Rememberance,
The Viking Press, New York, 1982.
Hacker, Jeffrey H., Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin Watts,
New York, 1983.
Freidel, Frank, A Rendezvous With Destiny, Little,
Brown and Company, Boston, 1990.
Lawson, Don, FDR’s New Deal, Thomas Y. Crowell, New York, 1974.
Woolf, S.J., Thomas Depicts the Socialist Utopia, New York Times Magazine,
July 24, 1932, The New York Times Company.