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Thanksgiving during the War, 1943

During World War II, President Roosevelt made a number of trips to meet with foreign leaders to discuss the war effort and the postwar world. At the end of 1943, FDR traveled to Cairo, Egypt and Teheran, Iran to meet with Winston Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek and Joseph Stalin. The meeting of FDR, Churchill and Stalin in Teheran was the first for the “Big Three.”

On November 25, 1943, Thanksgiving Day, FDR was in Cairo with Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek.

Below is a handwritten page from FDR’s diary of the Cairo and Teheran conferences. On this page from November 26th, FDR writes about hosting Thanksgiving dinner for American and British officials – including Churchill. FDR writes that he had the Chiangs to tea and then the British to dinner with two turkeys he had brought from home.

The Atlantic Charter

FDR and Winston Churchill aboard the HMS Prince of Wales at the Atlantic Charter Conference. August 10, 1941. FDR Library Photo

The Atlantic Charter was the statement of principles agreed to by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill of Great Britain at their first wartime conference, August 9-12, 1941. The conference was held on board naval vessels anchored in Placentia Bay, off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The Charter was not an official document, but rather a joint statement expressing the war aims of the two countries–one technically neutral and the other at war.

The Charter expressed the two countries’ beliefs in the rights of self-determination, of all people to live in freedom from fear and want, and of freedom of the seas, as well as the belief that all nations must abandon the use of force and work collectively in the fields of economics and security.

One of the major provisions of the Atlantic Charter declared as follows:

“. . . [A]fter the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, [we] hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want. . . . [S]uch a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance.”
 

Atlantic Charter Dinner Menu

The agreement is often cited by historians as one of the first significant steps towards the formation of the United Nations.

The joint declaration was issued by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill on August 14, 1941.

For more information on FDR’s daily activities as President, please visit Franklin D. Roosevelt Day by Day.

Both the FDR Presidential Library and the Home of FDR National Historic Site hosted more than 3000 visitors over Memorial Day Weekend at a series of public programs and events. The weekend kicked off with a full audience at the Library’s annual USO Show on Friday night. Attendees were treated to an evening of entertainment including comedy, newsreels, and acrobatics, and ending in a half-hour set of big band music.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Library presented a weekend of historic military displays in the Henry A. Wallace Center. Re-enactors in battle dress shared their love of history with visitors. Collections of military uniforms, prop weapons, and insignia from 1917 to the present day were also displayed. Four period military vehicles in the Library parking lot made up one of the more popular exhibits. On Monday, Memorial Day, the Home of FDR National Historic Site hosted a graveside memorial service and Commander Rob Thompson of the USS ROOSEVELT (DDG 80), a guided missile destroyer, made remarks. Commander Thompson and 25 members of his crew were visiting Hyde Park on May 28 as part of Dutchess County Fleet Week 2012.

 

In conjunction with the opening of a special exhibit at the Morgan Library in New York City (opening June 7) called “Churchill: the Power of Words,” the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute will host a one-day symposium on June 9, 2012 that will examine the wartime relationship of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the onset of the “special relationship” between Great Britain and the United States, and the legacy of the two men for both liberal and conservative politics in the United States and United Kingdom. The program will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, Hyde Park, New York.

The symposium is being organized in collaboration with the Churchill Archives Centre (Cambridge, England), the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, the Morgan Library and Marist College. “The Churchill-Roosevelt Legacy” symposium will consist of two afternoon panel discussions that includes such notable scholars as David Reynolds, author of “In Command of History, Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War”; Andrew Roberts, author of “Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West”; Richard Aldous, author of “Reagan and Thatcher: A Difficult Relationship”; and Warren Kimball, author “Forged in War: Roosevelt, Churchill and the Second World War.” This is a free public event.

February 4 – 11, 1945: FDR meets with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference to discuss post-war ideas and the United Nations.

Roosevelt is pictured in a jeep at Saki Airfield on his way to Yalta for the conference with Churchill and Stalin. FDR is speaking to Special Assistant Harry L. Hopkins. L-R: U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyachslav Molotov, Harry L. Hopkins, FDR.
February 3, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 73-200:2


Roosevelt is pictured with Stalin during his first call on the President upon his arrival at Livadia Palace in Yalta. L-R: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt
February 4, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx 48-22:3659(45)


Roosevelt is pictured with Churchill and Stalin at the Livadia Palace during the Yalta Conference. L-R: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin.
February 9, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22:3659(66)

 

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Did you know…..

  • President Roosevelt was the first president who visited Russia while in office.

January 14, 1943: FDR leaves for the Casablanca Conference with Winston Churchill and becomes the first president to leave the U.S. during wartime.

Franklin D. Roosevelt reviews the troops during his trip to Morocco for the Casablanca Conference.
January 21, 1943
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22 3628(2).


Franklin D. Roosevelt with Winston Churchill at the Casablanca Conference.
January 22, 1943
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22:3628(32).

February 4 – 11, 1945: FDR meets with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference to discuss post-war ideas and the United Nations.

Roosevelt is pictured in a jeep at Saki Airfield on his way to Yalta for the conference with Churchill and Stalin. FDR is speaking to Special Assistant Harry L. Hopkins. L-R: U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyachslav Molotov, Harry L. Hopkins, FDR.
February 3, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 73-200:2


Roosevelt is pictured with Stalin during his first call on the President upon his arrival at Livadia Palace in Yalta. L-R: Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt
February 4, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx 48-22:3659(45)


Roosevelt is pictured with Churchill and Stalin at the Livadia Palace during the Yalta Conference. L-R: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin.
February 9, 1945
FDR Library Photo Collection. NPx. 48-22:3659(66)

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