Quotations From FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT


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  • If we can "boondoggle" ourselves out of this depression, that word is going to be enshrined in the hearts of the American people for years to come.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. Democratic politician, president. speech, Jan. 18, 1936, to the New Jersey State Emergency Council, Newark.

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  • I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. Democratic politician, president. second inaugural addresss, Jan. 20, 1937. Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, vol. 6 (1941).
  • When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. David Dallek, Franklin Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy: 1932-1945, p. 288, Oxford University Press (1979). When the President wished to authorize the use of U.S. warships to seek out German submarines operating in the western Atlantic, this was the rationale he presented to the public.
  • How many people in the United States do you think will be willing to go to war to free Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania?
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Edward M. Bennett, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Search for Victory: American-Soviet Relations, 1939-1945, pp. 173-174, Scholarly Resources, Inc. (1990). Jim Bishop, FDR's Last Year, p. 468, William Morrow & Co., Inc. (1974). Eleanor Roosevelt expressed shock at the surrender of these small countries to Soviet control. Roosevelt realistically perceived that the Russians were not going to give up the area through which they were attacked twice in a generation by the Germans. He did not for a moment believe that Americans were willing to fight for the freedom of these little republics.

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  • I pledge you—I pledge myself to a new deal for the American people.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Acceptance speech, 1932, at Democratic National Convention. James MacGregor Burns, Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox, p. 139, Harcourt Brace & Co. (1956). This was the phrase which later was emphasized as the name of the Roosevelt relief, recovery, and reform programs.

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  • I fear ... that both dictators [Hitler and Mussolini] think their present methods are succeeding because of the gains they have made in Albania, Hungary and Yugoslavia.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Letter, June 7, 1939, to U.S. Ambassador to Italy, William Phillips. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs, Second Series. Photocopies of documents from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York (1969), p. 226, ed. Donald B. Schewe, Clearwater Publishing (1969). This was one of many indications from the President that he believed that a European War was imminent.

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  • I ... believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Letter, April 14, 1933, to Arthur Murray, President's Personal File, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Foreign Affairs, vol. I, p. 54, The Belknap Press of Harvard University (1969). on government policies vs. Public opinion.

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  • I am a Christian and a Democrat—that's all.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew, p. 330, Harper Colophon Books, n.d.. FDR's response to a reporter who asked him what his political philosophy might be.
  • We are trying to construct a more inclusive society.... We are going to make a country in which no one is left out.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. From a speech Secretary Perkins helped write. Frances Perkins, The Roosevelt I Knew, p. 113, Harper Colophon Books, n.d.. This was FDR's assessment of what New Deal social and economic programs aimed to achieve.
  • It takes a long time to bring the past up to the present.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940, p. 268, Harper & Row (1963). The President lamented the difficulty of initiating effective reform programs.

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