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March 22, 1933: FDR delivers a message to Congress on unemployment relief and the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

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The New Deal Estore is a great place to shop for Roosevelt related books, gifts, and other treasures from the New Deal Store at the Roosevelt Library. Available at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu, the Estore features everything from a selection of the latest books on the Roosevelts and their times, to T-shirts, ties and caps, multimedia, campaign memorabilia, and museum replicas. For items related to this week’s blog post, follow the links below:

Nature’s New Deal by Neil M. Maher
The Soldier of Poverty by Mary J. Schueller
FDR’s Alphabet Soup by Tonya Bolden

March 26, 1960

“HYDE PARK—We have all been very much upset by the situation in South Africa. But equally upsetting has been the news from Alabama, where nine college students were 01expelled from school for their sit-down strike. A visitor came to tell me that when a sympathy strike was attempted on behalf of these students, the police set up gun posts around the college campus, tapped the telephone lines to the church where meetings were being held, and altogether created an atmosphere so much like South Africa that it is not comfortable for an American citizen to think about.

Fortunately, students in colleges in the North have realized that the students in the South will need help, so within hours $1,000 was expedited from campuses in the North to the beleaguered students in Alabama. I think we should organize to support these students in any way it is possible to do so.

As I have said before, I do not think boycotting lunch counters that are segregated in the North has much value except in letting off our own steam. But I do think that refusing to buy South African goods—such as lobster tails, diamonds, caracul coats, etc., none of which we buy every day—and at the same time refusing to buy anything at all from chain stores that have segregation of any kind in our South will have a very salutary effect.

It is curious that the United States and South Africa have much the same problem. However, the degree, thank heavens, is different. But we must move forward here at home or we cannot protest with sincerity what goes on abroad.”

Click here for the complete My Day article.

March 17, 1905: FDR and ER are married in New York City by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at “Algonac” in Newburgh, NY.
May 7, 1905
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx 63-536.

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt pictured shortly after their marriage in March 1905.
March 1905
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx 62-41.

March 20, 1941

“WASHINGTON, Wednesday —…Sometimes I think a few people are becoming a trifle hysterical. To bear this out, I shall quote here a few lines from a letter which I have just received from a lady. There is nothing peculiar about this letter. The writer just assails the President and the present Administration and, incidentally, me, for starving the little children of the democracies of Europe. It demands a negotiated peace with Hitler and says it is no more possible to restore the conquered nations in Europe to their freedom than it would be to restore to England her original Thirteen Colonies.

She assures me that she is of British descent, with Huguenot blood running in her veins, that she is a Colonial Dame, and a member of the Order of the Descendants of Colonial Governors. She even dares to identify herself further as having four Colonial Governors of Carolina on her badge.

All this to prove that she is no Nazi-lover, but for America first and that she does not wish to police the world. She ends with her personal, not very flattering, appraisal of the President.

Nothing in this letter, of course, is very odd. Just from my point of view, it is untrue. There is no reason in the world, however, why she should not express her opinions, no reason why she should not write the letter and no one would question her right to do so. But here comes the hysterical line: “I dare not sign my name for fear of a concentration camp.” I haven’t yet heard of any, have you?”

March 13, 1937

“ALVA, Okla., Friday—While I was speaking this morning my eldest son called me all the way from Washington. The story which has seemed to be of greatest interest to everyone out here had reached Washington and they were worried! It was too bad that it was not absolutely accurate for it caused one youngster, according to newspaper reports a great disappointment. He was the son of my hostess at one of my stops and he had read that I carried a gun with me! Someone had evidently forgotten to mention what I actually said, namely, that when I motored and was driving my own car by myself, that the Secret Service had asked me to carry a pistol and that I did it and had learned how to use it! I do not mean by this of course, that I am an expert shot, I only wish I were, and if inheritance has anything to do with it, I ought to be for my father could hold his own even in the west in those early days when my uncle, Theodore Roosevelt, had a ranch in the Dakotas. These things do not however, go by inheritance and my opportunities for shooting have been few and far between, but if the necessity arose, I do know how to use a pistol…

…As we went out this morning to get into the car with Mrs. John Doolin, the State President of the Federation of Women’s Clubs, who is our hostess, a man shook hands with me and to my surprise kissed my hand. When I came back from the morning speech he asked for an autograph and said: “I wonder why when I think of you people it makes the tears come to my eyes.” I know that this feeling has nothing to do with me personally, but it shows what the people of this nation have suffered and why they look upon those in high government office who have honestly tried to be of service in solving their problems, with deep emotion.

One man, however, was bound that I should not carry away the impression that everyone in this state was for us, so he leaned into the car to shake hands with me yesterday and announced: “You just tell your husband there are a few Republicans left out here,” which is a healthy sign!”

March 12, 1933: FDR delivers his first Fireside Chat in which he discusses the banking crisis.

First page of a reading copy of the First Fireside Chat

March 3, 1938

“NEW YORK, Wednesday—…Do you ever find that something you hear about today, puts you in close touch with some entirely unexpected person tomorrow? I walked into the Steinway Building the other morning and was taken up to see the members of the firm and our friend Mr. Junge. After the first greetings, Mr. Steinway said to me:

“I have a boy at Bard College near your home, and we are so much interested in it because of his interest and pleasure in his work there.”

Only last week, at Hyde Park, one of my country friends, Mrs. Hamm, who has a marvelous roadside stand on the Albany Post Road, came to see me and begged me to help them keep this small college open because it meant so much to their community. I confess I had never thought of it from the community point of view.

She explained that up as far as Hudson and down as far as Poughkeepsie, this college served the people of the countryside. The professors made speeches at local club meetings. The people Bard College brought from the outside world for lectures or for music, created opportunities of interest to everyone. The college gave work to people nearby and trade to the shops, but it was really the loss it would mean in cultural opportunities which stirred the whole rural community. One thing the College music department has done, for instance, is to draw numbers of people in to sing in a neighborhood chorus. This has brought pleasure to the participants and an increased appreciation of music.

It seems to me that when a small college means enough to its people and the countryside, for them to go out and raise money to keep it open, as Mr. Steinway tells me his boy and other pupils and people are doing, it is fulfilling its educational function so well it deserves the interest of the public. I hope the college will also receive a measure of outside support.”

March 4, 1933: FDR is inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States.

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