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Roosevelt, Franklin D. - 32nd President
4 March 1933 to 12 April 1945
Russell Renka
Southeast Missouri State University

General FDR Sites:
    The Miller Center's American President.org site has American President - FDR history
    The PBS site American Experience The Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt PBS has an overview plus five topics; a Primary Sources - Franklin D. Roosevelt PBS guide with speeches, documents, and letters; and a Teacher's Guide - Franklin D. Roosevelt PBS with a World Timeline - Franklin D. Roosevelt PBS from 1933 through 1945.
    C-SPAN has American Presidents Life Portraits - FDR.
    The Internet Public Library POTUS - Franklin D. Roosevelt site covers fundamentals of his long presidential tenure.  An extensive set of links is at Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.
    The History Net's FDR - Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) site has extensive links, particularly to photographs and speech sites.

Personal Biographies on FDR:
    A brief biography from Grolier at Franklin D. Roosevelt is one starting point.  Another by historian James T. Patterson is at GI -- World War II Commemoration.   More comprehensive personally centered biographical background is on Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum - Biography of FDR.  Also see the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Timeline.  The FDR Biography - Childhood and Youth. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute is another extensive background piece, including a separate item on FDR and Polio - Campobello.
    Character Above All - Franklin D. Roosevelt Essay is by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum:
    Nearly every modern president has one, and most are both excellent tourist centers and superb archival sites for serious students of the presidency.   They are scattered around the nation rather than concentrated in one locale.   Most have varied internal links to material of some academic interest.  Best FDR starting point is probably Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum - Sitemap.

Roosevelt Memorial:
    Located in Washington, D.C. rather than Hyde Park, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (National Park Service) became controversial over portrayal of FDR in his wheelchair despite the great rarity of appearances, portrayals, or photographs of a seated Roosevelt during his 12 years as President.  So far there's little on-line material at the site.

Historical review of FDR:
    One fairly comprehensive outline site is at 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt by Carl Gehrman, who has presidents.Swath.org.  It is thorough but has irritating errors such as getting inauguration dates wrong.  An FDR lifetime timeline is shown at Franklin D. Roosevelt's Timeline; a far more limited one for 1933 and 1934 is labeled New Deal Timeline 1933 and is part of the The New Deal Network (see below for separate heading) maintained by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute run jointly by Marist College and the FDR Library in collaboration with IBM.

Video Timeline: 
Franklin D. Roosevelt - Presidents Timeline from the PBS site National Video Resources has the highlights.

Photographic History of Roosevelt Administration and FDR:
    See Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute - Photographs for an extensive cache of public domain photographs.  Same for Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum - Online Photos; all of these are Copyright free and in the Public Domain.
    One section is specific to the Great Depression and response to it:  Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum Photos of the Great Depression and the New Deal.
    The dramatic decline in FDR's personal health is visible in late 1944 and early 1945 preceding his 12 April 1945 death in Georgia.  See a color picture of FDR at Yalta in February 1945 at http://www.earthstation1.com/WWIIPics/BigThreeColorYalta4502.jpg from Earthstation.1.

Presidential elections of 1932-1944:
    The New Deal was possible because the nation overwhelmingly elected both a president and Congress of like mind in 1932 and 1936.  See Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections for presidential years 1932 and 1936 (both landslides), the third term 1940, and wartime 1944.   Democrats prevailed on Capitol Hill too.  The biennial Democratic predominance in Congress at Russell Renka's Presidency and Congress shows their numbers during 1933 through 1938 compared to Republicans upsurges after that.

The 1930s:
    See United States History Index - 1930-1939 for extensive links to biographies, timelines, explanations of the Great Depression, pictures and songs, and other items.

The 1940s:
    See WWW-VL HISTORY USA 1940-1950; comparable to 1930s file cited above, but FDR-era focus is World War II.

Great Depression in pictures and words:
    Go first to the Library of Congress' massive project, Documenting America, for more than 50,000 of the photographs produced by The Farm Security Administration from 1935 to 1942 to document the impact of this catastrophe upon the American people.
    A Photo Essay on the Great Depression has large sequenced photographs dated from 1929 to 1942 with text, telling in pictures how the Great Depression must have felt; Dorothea Lange and other photographers are well represented.  The parent site is Cary Nelson's The Great Depression at UIUC.
    The Works Project Administration collected 261 WPA Life Histories from Connecticut for first-person accounts of life in hard times.  Voices from the Dust Bowl Home Page at the Library of Congress gives a qualitative flavor of life in the worst-hit Dust Bowl region.  The Songs of the Great Depression has the anthem of the Depression.  The New Deal Network:  The Great Depression, the 1930s, and the Roosevelt Administration includes interesting graphics.

Great Depression--Causes and Consequences of:
    Paul Alexander Gusmorino 3rd authors The Main Causes of the Great Depression (1996).
    A brief description of this period from the Hoover Archives at Gallery Six:  The Great Depression and Gallery Seven:  From Hero to Scapegoat captures the bitter end of Hoover's term in winter 1933.
    Sliding into the Great Depression by J. Bradford DeLong (1997) gives a brief economic history of the Great Crash of 1929 and the prolonged economic slump that followed.

The New Deal:
    Start at New Deal Network, including its New Deal Document Library, Archives in the Attic, and New Deal Network Photo Library.  Lesson plans are also available via On-Line Resources for Teachers and Students) including guidelines on Oral History Resources.  The New Deal Network The Great Depression, the 1930s, and the Roosevelt Administration is the full site index. 
     From the University of Virginia's American Studies site, see 1930s Project -FrontPage for multimedia profiles of the depression decade.  The Real Deal has an Introduction, Chronology, and Galleries.  The New Deal Timeline (text version) is a chronology with links; and Flash media versions of this timeline are available there. 
    A useful links list is at Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

Social Security:
    Among the enduring major legacies of the New Deal, S.S. has its own profile at The History of Social Security.  Included here are FDR's Statements on Social Security with 14 messages from FDR (and from more recent presidents, see Presidential Statements and more briefly, The Presidents Speak).
    FDR and the Social Security Act of 1935 (April 25, 2002) by Bill Hunot of the Social Security Administration explains the program's legislative origin in 1935 and covers the renewal and expansion in the 76th Congress in 1939.
    Social Security documents are available at Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum - Our Documents.
    A devotee of FDR and a defender of Social Security for decades is former Florida Democratic Senator and (later) Representative Claude Pepper, who served in the House until 1989.  His paean to FDR and Social Security is at Claude Pepper and Franklin D. Roosevelt The Legacy of FDR (1945-1989).
    Seven documents from the New Deal Network are at Document Library Subject Index- Social Security.
    Robert Sahr of Oregon State University compares S.S. and its close 1965-originated cousin Medicare at Summary of Social Security and Medicare Data.  It shows outlays by fiscal year from 1940 (the first year of S.S. outlays) to est. 2008, in constant 2002 dollars.
    The 2005 debate over Social Security is summarized at The New York Times National News: The Social Security Debate.
    Finally, a list of links-by-the-dozen to S.S. sites is at Social Security Web Sites (from the New York State Society of CPAs), while a documents Compendium is at Social Security Compendium.

The Dust Bowl:
    The American Experience Surviving the Dust Bowl portrays the grim conditions at the 100th meridian and the Roosevelt responses (Timeline).  Voices from the Dust Bowl:  The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941 is the Library of Congress' American Memory contribution.

New Deal Cultural Programs
    New Deal Cultural Programs by Don Adams and Arlene Goldbard (1986, 1995) explains the brief flourishing of these programs and their ultimate demise and replacement by World War II promotional agendas.

New Deal and the Arts:
    On the important federal support of the arts in this period, see NARA's Exhibit A: New Deal for the Arts.  The New Deal Network has The Great Depression and the Arts.
    For writers, American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 - 1940 has Voices from the Thirties: Life Histories from the Federal Writers' Project.
    The Library of Congress Federal Theatre Project Collection Home Page covers this 1935-1939 project under Works Progress Administration direction (Federal Theatre Project Collection About the WPA Federal Theatre Project).
    A general source of site reviews for New Deal-related files is History Matters - Search.

Poster Art in World War II:
    Poster art was dramatically evident in promoting victory and justifying expression of ideals for the postwar era.  See Powers of Persuasion from The National Archives.  Included are the Four Freedoms speech and Rockwell's masterful posters.  So also is Rosie the Riveter, at Powers of Persuasion - It's a Woman's War, Too.  See also World War II Poster Collection from Northwestern University Library.

FDR Cartoons:
    The jaunty, non wheelchair-bound, fighting FDR with the constant cigarette holder and winning grin is profiled at FDR Cartoon Collection Database from Niskayuna High School.  FDR Cartoons Main Page is organized by topics.  One of these, the famous Court packing scheme of 1937, has its own collection, at  Cartoons: FDR and the Supreme Court.

FDR's health:
    Interesting subject, with the best literature in recent published journals.  Of on-line sources, see the excerpt from The Dying President:  Franklin D. Roosevelt 1944-1945 by Robert H. Ferrell.  On his polio dating from 1921, see FDR Polio.  HeathMedia's When the President is the Patient: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The Dying President sets forth the evidence of FDR dying of congestive heart failure during his last presidential years during the war--with concealment of this from the public.  Doctor Zebra's file, Medical History of President Franklin Roosevelt, is from a real physician with a creative and detailed history of presidential maladies.
    Also see above, under General Topics in this file:  Health and Mortality of Presidents.

Supreme Court Packing:
    The famous 1937 presidential attempt to transform the Supreme Court is the object of a NARA 'Teaching With Documents' lesson at Constitutional Issues: Separation of Powers.  A good academic coverage on this event is October 30 1937 from K.C. Johnson of Brooklyn College.

New Deal and Wartime Taxation Policy:
    Joseph J. Thorndike of the Tax History Project has written a series of articles on taxation before, during and after the Roosevelt years.  The Tax History Project at Tax Analysts lists them all.
    Tax History Project:  "The Republican Roots of New Deal Tax Policy" by Thorndike persuasively argues that the New Deal tax regime of high excise taxes and a progressive income tax was essentially based on the 1932 Revenue Act passed in the last Hoover year rather than by a Roosevelt-era legislature.  The article is less persuasive in seeking to have the 1932 enactment derive from the numerous tax-reduction enactments of the Republican 1920s.
    Thorndike also offers Franklin Roosevelt and the Political Role of Tax Justice under the article title of "The Price of Civilization:  Taxation in Depression and War, 1933-1945."  This shows that FDR led successful efforts to broaden the federal income tax, steepen its progressivity, and use regressive federal excise taxes extensively through the 1930s.
    In the war 1940s, Tax History Project Civilization at a Discount under article title " Morgenthau's Morning Glory' -- The Progressive Spendings Tax Proposal" shows the 1942 broadening of the income tax.  Meanwhile, Roosevelt led the successful opposition to adoption in the early war years of a national sales or "value-added" tax:  Tax History Project Civilization at a Discount under title "The Tax That Wasn't: Mid-Century Proposals For A National Sales Tax."  But another request in 1943 to add revenue and apply a very steep progressive tax to estates fell into deep disfavor with the increasingly conservative Congress:  "Historical Perspective Wartime Tax Legislation and the Politics of Policymaking".

World War II:
    Internet Modern History Sourcebook World War II is a general source.  Global War timeline has links to major events from Pearl Harbor to the war's aftermath.   Resource listing for WWII includes a WW2 Timeline.
    PBS has The Perilous Fight America's World War II in Color PBS.
    A lengthy trove of primary Documents Related to World War II is from the International Relations Program at Mt. Holyoke College.  The Avalon Project World War II Documents is a comparable source with more editing for the most important items.
    The Roosevelt Library has public domain Photos of World War II.
    Conferences of the Allied Grand Strategy - WWII cover the major war conferences from the Atlantic Conference in August 1941 to the post-Roosevelt Potsdam Conference attended by Truman in July 1945.
    WWII articles from American History are at TheHistoryNet Article Index - World War II.
Foreign and diplomatic War policy of Roosevelt
    For primary documents, see And there is From the Library, see the once-secret Safe Files, introduced at FDR in Study with links to six of the boxes. These are largely WWII and national security items listed alphabetically by correspondent or nation.  A source for transcripts of the major conferences is itemized in Documents For The Study Of American History.

Pearl Harbor event:
    A History Net account is at Turning Points One Sunday in December - Full Text December '98 American History FeatureAfter the Day of Infamy 'Man-on-the-Street' Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor Home Page highlights the profound impact of December 7, 1941.
    On 7 December 2006, the New York Times published some previously classified documents on the salvage and reconstruction of the shattered Pacific Fleet ships; see their Pearl Harbor Revisited commemorating the 64th anniversary of "a date that will live in infamy."

Internment of Japanese-Americans:
    Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 issued on 19 February 1942 ordered the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII (WRA Exhibit -- Text of Executive Order No. 9066).
    On life under internment, see War Relocation Authority Camps in Arizona 1942-1946.  And EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066 The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Internment is a UCLA Asian American Studies Center Publication with extensive photographic archives and accounts of life in these places.  The PBS Historical Documents list includes Children of the Camps -- EXECUTIVE ORDER 9066Densho The Japanese American Legacy Project preserves personal testimony of those "unjustly incarcerated during World War II, before their memories are extinguished."
    This Order was eventually rescinded in 1976 by President Ford--31 years after Roosevelt died on 12 April 1945 during his fourth term in office as WWII came near its close.

The Bomb/Project Manhattan:
    See Trinity Atomic Web Site and HEW Archive (U.S.).   Hiroshima: Was It Necessary? The Atomic Bombing of Japan also has extensive links.  The famous 1939 letter from Albert Einstein alerting FDR to the possibilities of building a bomb are at Einstein's letter to Roosevelt August 2 1939.   See more entries below under Truman file.

Hitler and Roosevelt:
    Roosevelt's nemesis is followed via primary documents in the Jewish Virtual Library's Adolf Hitler: Table of Contents.  (Take some care to avoid the host of Holocaust-denials on any web search using "Hitler.")

The Holocaust and the War:
    There's a large cottage website industry out there on the topic of Hitler's atrocities.  A map from the Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century sums it up:  Twentieth Century Atlas - Ranking Atrocities.  Likewise, for a cold head count of organized 20th century mayhem, this war easily leads the list:  see Twentieth Century Atlas - Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Man-made Megadeaths of theTwentieth Century.

United Nations:
    The 1945 charter is at Charter of the United Nations.  Other documents are at United Nations, from H-Net's Diplomatic History site.  The official United Nations site also depicts Roosevelt's major part in the origin and launching of that institution.

Rationing during the War:
    Listening to WWII:  Rationing at Home shows some of the efforts by the much-reviled Office of Price Administration to promote victory gardens. 

Major Speeches by FDR:
    These are extensive, and they include the 30-odd Fireside Chats that are listed next below.  Generally, print-version FDR documents are abundant while audio and video of FDR are still relatively scarce on the web.  I address print-version first, then the less common audio and video sources.  RDR, February 2004

    Speeches in Print:  Ibiblio's Table of Contents has 34 important speeches lined up by year, subject area, and audience.  Some are also fireside chats, but most are formal addresses in other venues.   Franklin D. Roosevelt President of the Century has 11 texts of "Selected Speeches of Franklin Delano Roosevelt."  The Avalon Project: The Papers of Franklin Roosevelt has eight statements in text, including the four inaugural addresses.
     IPL POTUS -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt under Historical Documents has the four Inaugural Addresses via Columbia University's Bartleby site, but other listed speeches often are from failed links.  Look elsewhere to find Franklin D. Roosevelt's Quarantine Speech of 5 October 1937; The Four Freedoms of 6 January 1941; and a date which will live in infamy of 8 December 1941 after Pearl Harbor.

    Audio and Video:  The most extensive audio-video compilation may be the americanpresidency.org Audio-Video Archive - Franklin D. Roosevelt with 16 excerpts on Quicktime.  There are no accompanying texts.
    The Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum - Audio Clips also has numerous clips.  As the accompanying Audio Text shows, these are relatively brief excerpts of notable statements.
    {Note:  As of 2/9/04, this site is apparently down.}  Sounds of History -- Churchill and Roosevelt has audio of 16 Roosevelt addresses and fireside chats including eight during wartime from 8 December 1941 (Pearl Harbor) through 1 March 1945 (report to Congress on Yalta).  Almost all are extensive rather than brief excerpts.
    History Out Loud - FDR has audio and video of four speeches: the 1933 Inaugural, 1937 Court packing fireside chat, the December 1941 war-declaration request after Pearl Harbor, and 1944 'My Dog Fala'/Teamsters speech.
    The MSU Vincent Voice Library has VVL-01-1311 Franklin Delano Roosevelt with a chronological listing of FDR speeches, some being public domain and accompanied by MP3 links for listeners.  It's worth a close look since audio-video web material on FDR is generally scarce.  Also see President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the 'Four Freedoms' inaugural address of 1941 in MP3 and RealAudio.
    Academic Analysis of FDR speeches:  See Gregory J. Rosmaita's file labeled The Four Freedoms, At Home and Abroad.  His analysis is not specific to that speech alone.  

Fireside Chats:
    The FDR Library has the 30 widely accepted Fireside Chat radio addresses at Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats in text form only, with a brief prefatory explanation of how the Library classifies them at AV Collection - Fireside Chats.  Two sites derived from the Library are Fireside Chats of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Fireside Chats.
    No site has yet made audio files of all the Fireside Chats.  One Chat, the 1937 FDR 'Court packing', is on audio file at History Out Loud - FDR.  An audio file in TrueSpeech format is 1933 America Tunes into FDR's First Fireside Chat.   Elsewhere, The Museum of Broadcast Communications has a short description of their importance and audio links to three Chats, the historic first one of 12 March 1933 on banking, plus two in December 1941 after Pearl Harbor.

Minor Speeches and other remarks:
    See The Works of Franklin Delano Roosevelt for speeches and remarks through 1937.  All are text files rather than multimedia.

Legacy of FDR (as a modern president):
    The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy has chapter 1,  Franklin D. Roosevelt: The First Modern President, where eminent FDR historian William Leuchtenberg explains why FDR's presidency is qualitatively different from its 31 predecessors.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt:  See PBS, The American Experience Eleanor Roosevelt.

Person of the Year recognition:
    Time Magazine awarded FDR "Man of the Year" recognition three times, in the pre-presidential year of 1932 (TIME Person of the Year Story Archive Since 1927, Franklin D. Roosevelt- 1932), again in 1934 (Franklin D. Roosevelt - 1934) and in 1941 (Franklin D. Roosevelt - 1942).   Master list by year is TIME Person of the Year Story Archive Since 1927, Complete List.

Executive Orders and proclamations:
    The web isn't very helpful here until one reaches 1945 (and Truman) or more recent times.  A listing of FDR Executive Orders is http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/fedprs.html#eo with a PDF file (http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/docs/tab-cong.pdf) entitled "Table of Congressional Publication Volumes and Presidential Issuances."

Oral Histories on FDR:
    A useful guide for this work, which is extensive for the 1930s, is the Library of Congress' Learning Page Using Oral History Lesson Overview.

Book bibliography of President Franklin Roosevelt: (pending)

Obituary of Franklin D. Roosevelt:
    See New York Times, On This Day Birthdays January 30 for April 13, 1945, in eight parts.


Copyrightę2004-2007, Russell D. Renka