Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 30th, 1882 - April 12th, 1945
Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. He had 5 kids, and was married to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905. He was elected the New York Senate in 1910, and eventually was elected as the 32nd President of the U.S. in 1932. He even elected to be president in 1934 and 1941 and was known for being the "Man of the Year". On April 12, 1945, Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia from cerebral hemorrhage.
The First Hundred Days
Roosevelt’s quest to end the Great Depression was just the beginning. Next he asked Congress to take the first step toward ending Prohibition by making it legal once again for Americans to buy beer. In May, he signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act into law, enabling the federal government to build dams along the Tennessee River that controlled flooding and generated inexpensive hydroelectric power for the people in the region. That same month, Congress passed a bill that paid farmers to leave their fields in order to end agricultural surpluses and boost prices. June’s National Industrial Recovery Act guaranteed that workers would have the right to unionize and bargain collectively for higher wages and better working conditions; it also suspended some antitrust laws and established a federally funded Public Works Administration.
The New Deal
On March 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt delivered his first address before 100,000 people on Washington’s Capitol Plaza. “First of all,” he said, “let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He promised that he would act swiftly to face the “dark realities of the moment” and assured Americans that he would “wage a war against the emergency” just as though “we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” His speech gave many people confidence that they’d elected a man who was not afraid to take bold steps to solve the nation’s problems. The next day, the new president declared a four-day bank holiday to stop people from withdrawing their money from shaky banks. On March 9, Congress passed Roosevelt’s Emergency Banking Act, which reorganized the banks and closed them. In his first “fireside chat” three days later, the president urged Americans to put their savings back in the banks, and by the end of the month almost three quarters of them had reopened.
The Second New Deal
In the spring of 1935, the Administration proposed several important new actions. Historians refer to them as the "Second New Deal" and note that it was more tolerant and more questionable than the "First New Deal" of 1933 to 1934. The most important program of 1935 was the Social Security Act, designed by Frances Perkins. It established the framework for the U.S. welfare system. Roosevelt insisted that it should be financed by payroll taxes rather than from the general fund.