84 Facts About Franklin D Roosevelt

1. Franklin D Roosevelt created a new understanding of the presidency, permanently increasing the power of the president at the expense of Congress.

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2. In January 1944, Franklin D Roosevelt established the War Refugee Board to aid Jews and other victims of Axis atrocities.

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3. Franklin D Roosevelt was prevented from accepting more Jewish immigrants by the restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, the prevalence of nativism and antisemitism among voters and members of Congress, and some resistance in the American Jewish community to the acceptance of Eastern European Jewish immigrants.

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4. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which relocated hundreds of thousands of the Japanese-American citizens and immigrants.

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5. In 1941, Franklin D Roosevelt established the Fair Employment Practices Committee to implement Executive Order 8802, which prohibited racial and religious discrimination in employment among defense contractors.

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6. Franklin D Roosevelt was viewed as a hero by many African Americans, Catholics, and Jews, and he was highly successful in attracting large majorities of these voters into his New Deal coalition.

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7. Franklin D Roosevelt spoke while seated in the well of the House, an unprecedented concession to his physical incapacity.

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8. In 1944, Franklin D Roosevelt requested that Congress enact legislation which would tax all "unreasonable" profits, both corporate and individual, and thereby support his declared need for over $10 billion in revenue for the war and other government measures.

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9. Franklin D Roosevelt gave way in part to insistent demands from the public and Congress that more effort be devoted against Japan, but he always insisted on Germany first.

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10. At the conference, Franklin D Roosevelt announced that he would only accept the unconditional surrender of Germany, Japan, and Italy.

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11. Franklin D Roosevelt feared the consequences of allowing Germany to have sole possession of the technology, and authorized preliminary research into nuclear weapons.

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12. Franklin D Roosevelt avoided the State Department and conducted high level diplomacy through his aides, especially Harry Hopkins, whose influence was bolstered by his control of the Lend Lease funds.

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13. Franklin D Roosevelt avoided micromanaging the war and let his top military officers make most decisions.

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14. In 1942, Franklin D Roosevelt formed a new body, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which made the final decisions on American military strategy.

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15. Franklin D Roosevelt placed the Philippine military under American command and reinstated General Douglas MacArthur into active duty to command US forces in the Philippines.

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16. Franklin D Roosevelt was aided by the party's political bosses, who feared that no Democrat except Roosevelt could defeat Wendell Willkie, the popular Republican nominee.

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17. Franklin D Roosevelt refused to give a definitive statement as to his willingness to be a candidate again, and he even indicated to some ambitious Democrats, such as James Farley, that he would not run for a third term and that they could seek the Democratic nomination.

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18. In September 1940, Franklin D Roosevelt openly defied the Neutrality Acts by reaching the Destroyers for Bases Agreement, which, in exchange for military base rights in the British Caribbean Islands, gave 50 WWI American destroyers to Britain.

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19. Franklin D Roosevelt forged a close personal relationship with Churchill, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in May 1940.

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20. Franklin D Roosevelt made it clear that, in the event of German aggression against Czechoslovakia, the US would remain neutral.

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21. Franklin D Roosevelt hoped to renegotiate the Russian debt from World War I and open trade relations, but no progress was made on either issue, and "both nations were soon disillusioned by the accord.

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22. Franklin D Roosevelt was active in expanding, funding, and promoting the National Park and National Forest systems.

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23. Franklin D Roosevelt had a lifelong interest in the environment and conservation starting with his youthful interest in forestry on his family estate.

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24. Franklin D Roosevelt failed badly, managing to defeat only one target, a conservative Democrat from New York City.

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25. Franklin D Roosevelt won passage of the Reorganization Act of 1939 and subsequently created the Executive Office of the President, making it "the nerve center of the federal administrative system.

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26. Franklin D Roosevelt proposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which would have allowed him to appoint an additional Justice for each incumbent Justice over the age of 70; in 1937, there were six Supreme Court Justices over the age of 70.

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27. Franklin D Roosevelt carried 102 of the nation's 106 cities with a population of 100,000 or more.

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28. Franklin D Roosevelt lost high income voters, especially businessmen and professionals, but made major gains among the poor and minorities.

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29. Franklin D Roosevelt won re-nomination with little opposition at the 1936 Democratic National Convention, while his allies overcame Southern resistance to permanently abolish the long-established rule that had required Democratic presidential candidates to win the votes of two-thirds of the delegates rather than a simple majority.

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30. Franklin D Roosevelt consolidated the various relief organizations, though some, like the PWA, continued to exist.

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31. Franklin D Roosevelt expected that his party would lose several races in the 1934 Congressional elections, as the president's party had done in most previous midterm elections, but the Democrats picked up seats in both houses of Congress.

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32. Franklin D Roosevelt made agricultural relief a high priority and set up the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.

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33. Franklin D Roosevelt expanded a Hoover agency, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, making it a major source of financing for railroads and industry.

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34. Franklin D Roosevelt presided over the establishment of several agencies and measures designed to provide relief for the unemployed and others in need.

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35. Franklin D Roosevelt appointed powerful men to top positions but made all the major decisions, regardless of delays, inefficiency or resentment.

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36. In February 1933, Franklin D Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt by Giuseppe Zangara, who expressed a "hate for all rulers.

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37. Franklin D Roosevelt used the transition period to select the personnel for his incoming administration, and he chose Howe as his chief of staff, Farley as Postmaster General, and Frances Perkins as Secretary of Labor.

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38. Franklin D Roosevelt refused Hoover's request to develop a joint program to stop the downward economic spiral, claiming that it would tie his hands, and that Hoover had all the power to act if necessary.

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39. Franklin D Roosevelt entered the convention with a delegate lead due to his success in the 1932 Democratic primaries, but most delegates entered the convention unbound to any particular candidate.

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40. Franklin D Roosevelt rallied the progressive supporters of the Wilson administration while appealing to many conservatives, establishing himself as the leading candidate in the South and West.

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41. Franklin D Roosevelt established a campaign team led by Howe and Farley and a "brain trust" of policy advisers.

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42. Franklin D Roosevelt opened the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, became the first American to open the Olympic Games as a government official.

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43. Franklin D Roosevelt became the first governor to publicly endorse the idea of unemployment insurance.

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44. Franklin D Roosevelt began holding "fireside chats", in which he directly addressed his constituents via radio, often using these chats to pressure the New York State Legislature to advance his agenda.

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45. Franklin D Roosevelt was joined on the campaign trail by Samuel Rosenman, Frances Perkins, and James Farley, all of whom would become important political associates.

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46. Franklin D Roosevelt agreed to run when party leaders convinced him that only he could defeat the Republican gubernatorial nominee, New York Attorney General Albert Ottinger.

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47. Franklin D Roosevelt initially resisted the entreaties of Smith and others within the party, as he was reluctant to leave Warm Springs and feared a Republican landslide in 1928.

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48. Franklin D Roosevelt served on the commission until the end of 1928, and his contentious relationship with Moses continued as their careers progressed.

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49. Franklin D Roosevelt issued an open letter endorsing Al Smith's successful campaign in New York's 1922 gubernatorial election, which both aided Smith and showed Roosevelt's continuing relevance as a political figure.

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50. In 1938, Franklin D Roosevelt founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, leading to the development of polio vaccines.

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51. Franklin D Roosevelt usually appeared in public standing upright, supported on one side by an aide or one of his sons.

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52. Franklin D Roosevelt convinced many people that he was improving, which he believed to be essential prior to running for public office again.

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53. Franklin D Roosevelt sought to build support for a political comeback in the 1922 elections, but his career was derailed by illness.

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54. Franklin D Roosevelt resigned as Assistant Secretary of the Navy after the Democratic convention and campaigned across the nation for the Cox–Roosevelt ticket.

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55. Franklin D Roosevelt became very ill with influenza and a complicating pneumonia, but he recovered by the time the ship landed in New York.

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56. Franklin D Roosevelt requested that he be allowed to serve as a naval officer, but Wilson insisted that he continue to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

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57. Franklin D Roosevelt learned a valuable lesson, that federal patronage alone, without White House support, could not defeat a strong local organization.

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58. Franklin D Roosevelt lacked Wilson's backing, as Wilson needed Tammany's forces to help marshal his legislation and secure his 1916 re-election.

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59. In 1914, Franklin D Roosevelt made an ill-conceived decision to run for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Elihu Root of New York.

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60. Franklin D Roosevelt feared that open opposition from Theodore could effectively end his campaign, but Theodore privately encouraged his cousin's candidacy despite their differences in partisan affiliation.

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61. Franklin D Roosevelt was an attractive recruit for the party because Theodore Roosevelt was still one of the country's most prominent politicians, and a Democratic Roosevelt was good publicity; the candidate could pay for his own campaign.

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62. Franklin D Roosevelt held little passion for the practice of law and confided to friends that he planned to eventually enter politics.

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63. Franklin D Roosevelt broke his promise to Eleanor to refrain from having affairs.

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64. Franklin D Roosevelt was not always aware of when she visited the White House and for some time she could not easily reach him on the telephone without his secretary's help; Roosevelt, in turn, did not visit Eleanor's New York City apartment until late 1944.

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65. Franklin D Roosevelt had various extra-marital affairs, including one with Eleanor's social secretary Lucy Mercer, which began soon after she was hired in early 1914.

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66. Franklin D Roosevelt's attempted to break the engagement several times.

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67. On March 17, 1905, Franklin D Roosevelt married Eleanor in New York City, despite the fierce resistance of his mother.

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68. Franklin D Roosevelt entered Columbia Law School in 1904, but dropped out in 1907 after passing the New York bar exam.

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69. Franklin D Roosevelt was undistinguished as a student or athlete, but he became editor-in-chief of The Harvard Crimson daily newspaper, a position that required great ambition, energy, and the ability to manage others.

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70. Franklin D Roosevelt learned to sail and when he was 16, his father gave him a sailboat.

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71. Franklin D Roosevelt took up golf in his teen years, becoming a skilled long hitter.

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72. Franklin D Roosevelt learned to ride, shoot, row, and play polo and lawn tennis.

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73. Franklin D Roosevelt's once declared, "My son Franklin is a Delano, not a Roosevelt at all.

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74. Franklin D Roosevelt had a half-brother, James "Rosy" Roosevelt, from his father's previous marriage.

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75. Franklin D Roosevelt's parents, who were sixth cousins, both came from wealthy old New York families, the Roosevelts and the Delanos, respectively.

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76. Franklin D Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882, in the Hudson Valley town of Hyde Park, New York, to businessman James Roosevelt I and his second wife, Sara Ann Delano.

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77. Franklin D Roosevelt won reelection in 1944 but with his physical health declining during the war years, he died in April 1945, just 11 weeks into his fourth term.

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78. Franklin D Roosevelt initiated the development of the world's first atomic bomb and worked with the other Allied leaders to lay the groundwork for the United Nations and other post-war institutions.

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79. Franklin D Roosevelt supervised the mobilization of the US economy to support the war effort and implemented a Europe first strategy, making the defeat of Germany a priority over that of Japan.

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80. Franklin D Roosevelt instituted major regulatory reforms related to finance, communications, and labor, and presided over the end of Prohibition.

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81. Franklin D Roosevelt created numerous programs to provide relief to the unemployed and farmers while seeking economic recovery with the National Recovery Administration and other programs.

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82. In 1921, Franklin D Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, believed at the time to be polio, and his legs became permanently paralyzed.

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83. Franklin D Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York, to a Dutch American family made well known by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.

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84. Franklin D Roosevelt is often rated by scholars as one of the three greatest US presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

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