Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Franklin Delano Roosevelt...
...the 32nd President, author of the "New Deal", and the only US president to serve more than two terms died on April 12, 1945. President Roosevelt suffered from polio, and was paralyzed at the waist. He served as president through most of the Great Depression, and through the brutal years of World War II. He died just as victory over Germany's Third Reich was almost certain, an as the seemingly invicible Empire of Japan was well into the downward spiral that would also seal her fate, and the almost inevitable Allied victory.
During his presidency, Roosevelt purchased an estate at Warm Springs, Georgia, and often spent time there embracing a form of hydro-therapy for his paralysis. It was at Warm Springs that the President died. According to witnesses, he was at his desk doing daily paperwork, when he complained of a headache. Shortly afterward, he slumped forward in his chair and died. The cause of death was a severe cerebral hemorrhage. His wife, Eleanor, arrived shortly after his death,and spent a few minutes alone with the dead Prseident paying her last respects.
President Roosevelt was succeeded by Harry Truman, who also ran in and won the next Presidential election. It was President Truman who made the final decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan and thus shorten the war.
Roosevelt's presidency is remarkable for many reasons. He became President just 32 days after Adoplh Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, and while the United States was in the worst part of the most extreme economic depression in history. Projects such as the Tennessee Valley Authority were founded under his administration, and agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission were established. Roosevelt also set up the Social security Act, which formed the basis of Social Security, but also added a payroll tax to fund the act.
FDR's most notable speech was his "Infamy" speech, his petition to Congress to declare war on the Empire of Japan after the Pearl Harbor bombing.