Today in History: FDR’s First Fireside Chat

Most Americans had never heard the voice of a president, and millions tuned in
Franklin Roosevelt prepares for a June 5, 1944 fireside chat, during which he reported that Rome was freed from the Axis powers by Allied forces.
Franklin Roosevelt prepares for a June 5, 1944 fireside chat, during which he reported that Rome was freed from the Axis powers by Allied forces. AP Photo

March 12, 1933: President Roosevelt held his first “fireside chat” — a radio address to explain his policies to the American people. FDR’s fireside chats were electrifying. Most Americans had never heard the voice of a president, and millions tuned in. Roosevelt used simple words and addressed Americans as “my friends.” Roosevelt knew radio to be an effective communication tool. It remains so to this day, reaching 93 percent of consumers weekly — more than the internet.

March 12, 1947: The Truman Doctrine: President Truman asked Congress to send aid to Greece and Turkey, which were threatened by communism.

Quote of the day

“The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

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