139 Facts About Franklin D Roosevelt


Franklin D Roosevelt won election to the New York State Senate in 1910, and then served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson during World War I Roosevelt was James M Cox's running mate on the Democratic Party's 1920 national ticket, but Cox was defeated by Republican Warren G Harding.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt served as governor from 1929 to 1933, promoting programs to combat the economic crisis besetting the United States.

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Franklin D Roosevelt called for the creation of programs designed to produce relief, recovery, and reform.

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Franklin D Roosevelt instituted major regulatory reforms related to finance, communications, and labor.

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Franklin D Roosevelt frequently used radio to speak directly to the American people, giving 30 "fireside chat" radio addresses during his presidency and became the first American president to be televised.

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt won re-election in the 1944 presidential election on his post-war recovery platform.

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Franklin D Roosevelt learned to ride; shoot; and sail; and play polo, tennis, and golf.

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Franklin D Roosevelt then attended Groton School, an Episcopal boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts.

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Franklin D Roosevelt was not among the more popular Groton students, who were better athletes and had rebellious streaks.

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Franklin D Roosevelt was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and the Fly Club, and served as a school cheerleader.

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt's father died in 1900, causing great distress for him.

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Franklin D Roosevelt entered Columbia Law School in 1904 but dropped out in 1907 after passing the New York Bar Examination.

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Burns indicates young Franklin D Roosevelt was self-assured and at ease in the upper class, while Eleanor was then shy and disliked social life, and initially stayed home to raise their children.

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Franklin D Roosevelt had several extra-marital affairs, including with Eleanor's social secretary Lucy Mercer, soon after she was hired in 1914, and discovered by Eleanor in 1918.

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Franklin D Roosevelt contemplated divorcing Eleanor, but Sara objected, and Lucy would not marry a divorced man with five children.

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The emotional break in their marriage was so severe that when Franklin D Roosevelt asked Eleanor in 1942—in light of his failing health—to come back home and live with him again, she refused.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt broke his promise to Eleanor as he and Lucy maintained a formal correspondence, and began seeing each other again in 1941 or earlier.

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Franklin D Roosevelt cared little for the practice of law and told friends he planned to enter politics.

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Franklin D Roosevelt had the personality and energy for campaigning, and he had the money to pay for his own campaign.

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Franklin D Roosevelt feared that opposition from Theodore could end his campaign, but Theodore encouraged his candidacy despite their party differences.

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Franklin D Roosevelt opposed Tammany Hall by supporting New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson's successful bid for the 1912 Democratic nomination.

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The election became a three-way contest when Theodore Franklin D Roosevelt left the Republican Party to launch a third party campaign against Wilson and sitting Republican President William Howard Taft.

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Franklin D Roosevelt overcame a bout of typhoid fever, and with help from journalist Louis McHenry Howe, he was re-elected in the 1912 elections.

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Franklin D Roosevelt had then become more consistently progressive, in support of labor and social welfare programs.

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Franklin D Roosevelt had an affection for the Navy, was well-read on the subject, and was a most ardent supporter of a large, efficient force.

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Franklin D Roosevelt oversaw the Navy's civilian employees and earned the respect of union leaders for his fairness in resolving disputes.

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In 1914, Franklin D Roosevelt ran for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Elihu Root of New York.

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Franklin D Roosevelt was without Wilson's support, as the president needed Tammany's forces for his legislation and 1916 re-election.

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Franklin D Roosevelt was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary by Gerard, who in turn lost the general election to Republican James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr.

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt refocused on the Navy Department, as World War I broke out in Europe in August 1914.

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The Wilson administration initiated an expansion of the Navy after the sinking of the RMS Lusitania by a German submarine, and Roosevelt helped establish the United States Navy Reserve and the Council of National Defense.

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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.

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt accepted the loss without issue and later reflected that the relationships and goodwill that he built in the 1920 campaign proved to be a major asset in his 1932 campaign.

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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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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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Franklin D Roosevelt laboriously taught himself to walk short distances while wearing iron braces on his hips and legs by swiveling his torso, supporting himself with a cane.

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Franklin D Roosevelt was careful never to be seen using his wheelchair in public, and great care was taken to prevent any portrayal in the press that would highlight his disability.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt maintained contacts with the Democratic Party during the 1920s, and he remained active in New York politics while establishing contacts in the South, particularly in Georgia.

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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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Roosevelt and Smith came from different backgrounds and never fully trusted one another, but Roosevelt supported Smith's progressive policies, while Smith was happy to have the backing of the prominent and well-respected Roosevelt.

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Franklin D Roosevelt gave presidential nominating speeches for Smith at the 1924 and 1928 Democratic National Conventions; the speech at the 1924 convention marked a return to public life following his illness and convalescence.

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Franklin D Roosevelt accused Moses of using the name recognition of prominent individuals including Franklin D Roosevelt to win political support for state parks, but then diverting funds to the ones Moses favored on Long Island, while Moses worked to block the appointment of Howe to a salaried position as the Taconic commission's secretary.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt had the leisure time and the interest, and he drafted a plan for the contest.

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Franklin D Roosevelt never submitted it because his wife Eleanor Roosevelt was selected as a judge for the prize.

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Franklin D Roosevelt's plan called for a new world organization that would replace the League of Nations.

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Smith, the Democratic presidential nominee in the 1928 election, asked Roosevelt to run for governor of New York in the 1928 state election.

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Franklin D Roosevelt initially resisted, as he was reluctant to leave Warm Springs and feared a Republican landslide in 1928.

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Franklin D Roosevelt won the party's gubernatorial nomination by acclamation and again turned to Howe to lead his campaign.

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Franklin D Roosevelt was joined on the campaign trail by associates Samuel Rosenman, Frances Perkins, and James Farley.

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Franklin D Roosevelt proposed the construction of hydroelectric power plants and addressed the ongoing farm crisis of the 1920s.

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt saw the seriousness of the situation and established a state employment commission.

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt proposed an economic relief package and the establishment of the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration to distribute those funds.

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Franklin D Roosevelt began an investigation into corruption in New York City among the judiciary, the police force, and organized crime, prompting the creation of the Seabury Commission.

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Franklin D Roosevelt supported reforestation with the Hewitt Amendment in 1931, which gave birth to New York's State Forest system.

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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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The chief opposition to Franklin D Roosevelt's candidacy came from Northeastern conservatives, Speaker of the House John Nance Garner of Texas and Al Smith, the 1928 Democratic presidential nominee.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt flew in from New York to Chicago after learning that he had won the nomination, becoming the first major-party presidential nominee to accept the nomination in person.

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Franklin D Roosevelt's appearance was essential, to show himself as vigorous, despite the ravaging disease that disabled him physically.

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Franklin D Roosevelt's statements attacked the incumbent and included no other specific policies or programs.

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Franklin D Roosevelt reconciled with the party's conservative wing, and even Al Smith was persuaded to support the Democratic ticket.

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Franklin D Roosevelt's victory was enabled by the creation of the New Deal coalition, small farmers, the Southern whites, Catholics, big city political machines, labor unions, northern African Americans, Jews, intellectuals, and political liberals.

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Franklin D Roosevelt was elected in November 1932 but, like his predecessors, did not take office until the following March.

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

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William H Woodin, a Republican industrialist close to Roosevelt, was the choice for Secretary of the Treasury, while Roosevelt chose Senator Cordell Hull of Tennessee as Secretary of State.

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On his second day in office, Franklin D Roosevelt declared a four-day national "bank holiday", to end the run by depositors seeking to withdraw funds.

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Franklin D Roosevelt saw the establishment a number of agencies and measures designed to provide relief for the unemployed and others.

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Franklin D Roosevelt expanded Hoover's Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which financed railroads and industry.

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Franklin D Roosevelt set up the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to increase commodity prices, by paying farmers to leave land uncultivated and cut herds.

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Franklin D Roosevelt reformed financial regulations with the Glass–Steagall Act, creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to underwrite savings deposits.

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Franklin D Roosevelt worked with Senator Norris to create the largest government-owned industrial enterprise in American history—the Tennessee Valley Authority —which built dams and power stations, controlled floods, and modernized agriculture and home conditions in the poverty-stricken Tennessee Valley.

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Franklin D Roosevelt tried to keep his campaign promise by cutting the federal budget.

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

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt won 86 percent of the Jewish vote, 81 percent of Catholics, 80 percent of union members, 76 percent of Southerners, 76 percent of blacks in northern cities, and 75 percent of people on relief.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt did manage to pass some legislation, including the Housing Act of 1937, a second Agricultural Adjustment Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which was the last major piece of New Deal legislation.

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Beyond this Franklin D Roosevelt recommended to a special congressional session only a permanent national farm act, administrative reorganization, and regional planning measures, all of which were leftovers from a regular session.

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Franklin D Roosevelt failed badly, managing to defeat only one of the ten targeted, a conservative Democrat from New York City.

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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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In December 1933, Franklin D Roosevelt signed the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, renouncing the right to intervene unilaterally in the affairs of Latin American countries.

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Franklin D Roosevelt normalized relations with the Soviet Union, which the United States had refused to recognize since the 1920s.

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Franklin D Roosevelt largely acquiesced to Congress's non-interventionist policies in the early-to-mid 1930s.

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When World War II began in September 1939 with Germany's invasion of Poland and Britain and France's subsequent declaration of war upon Germany, Franklin D Roosevelt sought ways to assist Britain and France militarily.

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Isolationist leaders like Charles Lindbergh and Senator William Borah successfully mobilized opposition to Franklin D Roosevelt's proposed repeal of the Neutrality Act, but Franklin D Roosevelt won Congressional approval of the sale of arms on a cash-and-carry basis.

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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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In July 1940, Roosevelt appointed two interventionist Republican leaders, Henry L Stimson and Frank Knox, as Secretaries of War and the Navy, respectively.

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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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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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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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At the July 1940 Democratic Convention in Chicago, Franklin D Roosevelt easily swept aside challenges from Farley and Vice President Garner, who had turned against Franklin D Roosevelt in his second term because of his liberal economic and social policies.

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Franklin D Roosevelt maintained close personal control of all major diplomatic and military decisions, working closely with his generals and admirals, the war and Navy departments, the British, and even with the Soviet Union.

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In July 1941, after Japan occupied the remainder of French Indochina, Franklin D Roosevelt cut off the sale of oil to Japan, depriving Japan of more than 95 percent of its oil supply.

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

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The Franklin D Roosevelt administration was unwilling to reverse the policy, and Secretary of State Hull blocked a potential summit between Franklin D Roosevelt and Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe.

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Franklin D Roosevelt had expected that the Japanese would attack either the Dutch East Indies or Thailand.

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In late December 1941, Churchill and Roosevelt met at the Arcadia Conference, which established a joint strategy between the U S and Britain.

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

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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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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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Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to jointly pursue the project, and Roosevelt helped ensure that American scientists cooperated with their British counterparts.

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Franklin D Roosevelt coined the term "Four Policemen" to refer to the "Big Four" Allied powers of World War II, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China.

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Concerned that their forces were not yet ready for an invasion of France, Churchill and Roosevelt decided to delay such an invasion until at least 1943 and instead focus on a landing in North Africa, known as Operation Torch.

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Franklin D Roosevelt did not push for the immediate evacuation of Soviet soldiers from Poland, but he won the issuance of the Declaration on Liberated Europe, which promised free elections in countries that had been occupied by Germany.

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

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In contrast to Hitler, Franklin D Roosevelt took no direct part in the tactical naval operations, though he approved strategic decisions.

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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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In 1943, Roosevelt established the Office of War Mobilization to oversee the home front; the agency was led by James F Byrnes, who came to be known as the "assistant president" due to his influence.

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Roosevelt made it clear before the convention that he was seeking another term, and on the lone presidential ballot of the convention, Roosevelt won the vast majority of delegates, although a minority of Southern Democrats voted for Harry F Byrd.

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Franklin D Roosevelt assailed the President as a "tired old man" with "tired old men" in his cabinet, pointedly suggesting that the President's lack of vigor had produced a less than vigorous economic recovery.

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Franklin D Roosevelt, as most observers could see from his weight loss and haggard appearance, was a tired man in 1944.

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When Franklin D Roosevelt returned to the United States from the Yalta Conference, many were shocked to see how old, thin and frail he looked.

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

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Franklin D Roosevelt's declining physical health had been kept secret from the public.

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Franklin D Roosevelt's death was met with shock and grief across the world.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt won strong support from Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans, but not Japanese Americans, as he presided over their internment during World War II.

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The rate of repatriations fell for all immigrants, especially for Mexicans, after Franklin D Roosevelt became president, who instituted more lenient policies towards immigrants, especially for well-settled ones.

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Franklin D Roosevelt stopped short of joining NAACP leaders in pushing for federal anti-lynching legislation, as he believed that such legislation was unlikely to pass and that his support for it would alienate Southern congressmen.

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Franklin D Roosevelt did appoint a "Black Cabinet" of African American advisers to advise on race relations and African American issues, and he publicly denounced lynching as "murder".

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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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In 1923, as a member of the Harvard board of directors, Franklin D Roosevelt decided there were too many Jewish students at Harvard University and helped institute a quota to limit the number of Jews admitted to Harvard.

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Franklin D Roosevelt is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of the United States, as well as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

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Franklin D Roosevelt firmly established the United States' leadership role on the world stage, with his role in shaping and financing World War II.

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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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Franklin D Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park is a National Historic Site and home to his Presidential library.

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