Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The First 100 Days and Other Presidential Plans

FDR's History

He was born in 1882 at Hyde Park, New York. He attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School. After graduating, he married Eleanor Roosevelt on St. Patrick's Day, 1905. Following the example of his fifth cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt, whom he greatly admired, Franklin D. Roosevelt entered public service through politics, but as a Democrat instead of a Republican. He won election to the New York Senate in 1910. President Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and he was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1920, but his party lost. In the summer of 1921, when he was 39, he was diagnosed with poliomyelitis, or polio. Demonstrating incredible courage, he fought to regain the use of his legs, especially through swimming. At the 1924 Democratic Convention, he dramatically appeared on crutches to nominate Alfred E. Smith as "the Happy Warrior." In 1928, Roosevelt became Governor of New York. He was in his second term as governor of New York when he was elected as the nation's 32nd president in 1932.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Her Role During FDR's Presidency

Eleanor Roosevelt had a large role in FDR's presidency. When she was first assuming her role as first lady she thought she would be silenced from speaking out on political matters she felt strongly for. With her husbands help she eventually found an outlet that she could use to express these opinions, with this outlet and her new role as the first lady she had a powerful voice in politics. Eleanor encouraged that new positions for African Americans would be opened up in the world of politics, she also played a key part in the establishment of the Federal Arts Project.

During the depression she had a direct and sometimes personal role in the lives of people who needed assistance. She visited coal mines, migrant camps and the homes of slum dwellers, she inspected government programs and projects as well. In 1936 she started writing a column six days a week called "My Day" that urged measures to be taken to help the American people.

Fireside Chats

During his presidency, FDR connected with the American people personally through radio updates. From March 1933 to June 1944, Roosevelt addressed the American people in some 30 speeches. He spoke on a variety of topics from banking to unemployment to fighting fascism in Europe. Millions of people found comfort and renewed confidence in these speeches, which became known as the "fireside chats." They were called these because he gave these speeches while sitting by the White House fireplace.

First 100 Days

The first one-hundred days was a very productive time. After solving the banking crisis of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt quickly went after other areas of national concern. FDR sent Congress a list of 15 proposals to Congress for new ideas to deal with the nation’s economic problems. Congress approved every one of the 15 proposals. Over the duration of about three months, the special session of Congress that President Roosevelt called the Hundred Days. Thomas Stokes, a journalist, stated, “The gloom, the tenseness, the fear of the closing months of the Hoover administration had vanished.”

"This nation asks for action, and action now"-FDR

Emergency Banking Relief Act

The Emergency Banking Relief Act was when President Roosevelt shut down banks for a while so that federal inspectors from the treasury department could declare whether the banks were able to operate again. If the bank was declared stable, it would be reopened and given help and loans to keep it going. If the bank was declared unstable, they were never reopened. This was only a temporary solution. Less than a year later the FDIC would be created as a more permanent solution.

The Brain Trust

In the election of 1932 Franklin Roosevelt gathered together a group called the "Brain Trust" which was a group of personal advisers to assist him in the election. They did many important things during the New Deal, one of which was the establishment of an economic plan that would be the backbone of the New Deal. This plan regulated on stock and bank activity, large scale relief, and public word programs. It was also argued by the Trust that they establish a regressive tax that would base a flat tax on a specific amount of salary.