FDR Sworn Into Office

On this day in 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into office - the first of four inaugurations during FDR’s storied presidential tenure. The new president delivered quite the speech - arguably his best known speech. You remember the words don’t you? It’s worth quoting at length.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

What was causing all this fear? The Great Depression of course. Indeed, FDR’s speech was delivered in the very midst of the greatest financial calamity in history - and FDR would use the opportunity to call for government action in combatting the catastrophe. Perhaps you would care to hear him in his own words…