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World Wars » 1900 » 1932

Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal

When: 4/01/1932
Where: White House, Washington, United States, North America

In April, 1932, Roosevelt targeted the fundamental fallacy of Hoover's policies when he called for plans 'that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the pyramid.'

In may, Roosevelt identified himself with the mood of the times in a speech: 'The country demands bold, persistent, experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.'

Franklin Delano Roosevelt flew to Chicago to accept the Democratic party's nomination for President. His speech concluded with these words: 'I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people .. give me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America to its own people.' Thus was coined the expression which became keynote for Roosevelt's program, The New Deal.

In his inaugural speech, Roosevelt began with his now-famous words 'Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' He quickly called the democratically-dominated Congress into special session to cope with the emergency and to begin the process of creating the remedial legislation. This special session sat from March 9 to June 16th, 1933, and is know as the Hundred Days. The New Deal legislation falls into three categories - referred to as the 3 R's: Relief, Recovery, Reform. Short range goals relief and immediate recovery; long term goals were permanent recovery and reform of abuses.

These measures, already foreshadowed by earlier Progressive or New Freedom traditions were long overdue. Many had been side-tracked by World War I or the Republican Old Guard in the 1920's. The New Deal now espoused these as their own when, in fact, many had already become part of state constitutions during the Progressive Era and many more where a part of the enlightened governments of western European states. Reforms included
  • Emergency Banking Act (March 9th, 1933)
  • Surrender of gold in exchange for paper currency (April 5th, 1933)
  • Gold Reserves Act (January 30th, 1934)
  • Glass-Steagall Bank Reform Act (June 16th, 1933)
  • Beer and Wine Reform Act (March 22nd, 1933)
  • Federal Securities Act (May 27th, 1933)
  • Unemployment Relief Act (March 31st, 1933)
  • National Industrial Recovery Act (June 16th, 1933)
  • Public Works Administration (June 16th, 1933)
  • Agricultural Adjustments Act (May 12th, 1933)
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (May 18th, 1933)
  • Federal Emergency Relief Act (May 12th, 1933)
  • Civil Works Administration (November 9th, 1933)
  • Works Progress Administration (May 6th, 1935)
  • Social Security Administration (August 14th, 1935)
  • Public Utility Holding Company (August 26th, 1935)
  • Rural Electrification Administration (May, 1935)
  • Wealth Tax Act (August, 1935)
  • Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act (March, 1936)
  • National Housing Act (June 28th, 1934)
  • Home Owners Refinancing Act (June 13th, 1933)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (June 6th, 1934)
  • Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (June 12th, 1934)
  • Frazier-Lemke Farm Bankruptcy Act (June 28th, 1934)
  • Resettlement Administration (February 29th, 1936)
  • United States Housing Authority (September 1st, 1937)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (June 25th, 1938)
  • Hatch Act (August 2nd, 1939)
  • National Labor Relations Act (June 6th, 1934)
  • Twenty First Amendment (February 20th, 1933)

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History Fact of the Month
Did you know ...

The Origin of Valentine's Day?

Valentines day dates back to Roman times, when a holiday called The Feast of Lubercus was celebrated to protect shepherds and their flocks from wolves. During this time of year, goddess Juno Februata was honored by pairing boys and girls and denoting them 'partners' for a year.

Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 497 AD, in an effort to replace pagan holidays with Christian tradition. Although the pairing ritual was banished, romance remains the distinctive attribute of this holiday.

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