Today, as you know, I will be presenting to you the two Roosevelts. They were what we would call today a “power couple.” They were both sources of inspiration in their own way, and we’ll explore that a little bit more later. First we’ll talk about Franklin, then we’ll discuss Eleanor. Now, let’s see who did the reading. Who can give me a brief summary of Franklin’s life? When was he born? What did he do?
Here’s just a brief history of Franklin’s life, we already covered some of these… (What is polio? It’s a disease that attacks the central nervous system, so it basically paralyzes you. But depending on how severe it is, you can become slowly paralyzed, like FDR, or you can be paralyzed In a matter of hours). He worked his way up to the Presidency just like most US politicians, but it is surprising that he didn’t go through Congress or the Senate first.
Now I know this isn’t a history class, but in order for you guys to fully understand the impact this man had, you have to know what he was walking into. The US Stock Market crashed in 1929 because of several factors (WWI and enormous amounts of spending, Roaring 20’s and the use of credit, etc). This is still the worst Depression that the US has seen, and how do we measure depressions, does anyone know? Fun trivia. We measure it by the percentage of unemployment, and here, 1/4th of the US was unemployed. Imagine that for a second. About 5 of us wouldn’t have a job in this room. That might not seem like a lot, but what happens when you don’t have a job? You can’t pay for anything, you can’t eat, your family suffers. So it’s much more than just the one unemployed person, it’s them, plus their family. Unemployment also leads to pessimistic outlooks, which when you’re a president, is not good. If confidence is low, no one will invest (sorry, little economics jargon in there). People are scared, plain and simple. So this is what Roosevelt was elected into.
Roosevelt was elected the 32nd President of the United states in 1932, and his term began in January, 1933. In his speech, you can hear how he addresses the people, phrases like “My Fellow Americans,” give him a paternal air. This encouraged his followers to look up to him. They felt safe with him. I’ll play you a small excerpt of his speech, just so you can hear how he addressed the American people. 1Source: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself: FDR’s First inaugural address,” accessed November 16, 2014, http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/. Now what do you guys think? What is he doing here? What leadership skills is he showing? (pg. 86) Charisma, Interpersonal Skills (socially perceptive, showing emotional intelligence). According to your Greenstein reading, what Presidential skills, if any, is he showing here? (public communicator, political skill in affecting his vision, emotional intelligence).
This is at the FDR Monument in Washington DC. We’ll talk more about the commemoration of Presidents and leaders, but this is most definitely FDR’s most famous quote.
Every great leader has results, no? So what did FDR accomplish during his Presidency? His New Deal Policies are debated amongst economists, but there is no doubt that it did increase the optimism of the American people. Even if the jobs he created were not ones that people would want to have, what he did was make them feel like they were doing something productive. He understood the basic human need to feel useful. He put 4 million people to work in just months through the Civil Works Administration. (He put the people on the Federal Pay Roll basically, because otherwise the employers wouldn’t have money to pay everyone). Population wise, that’s like putting 10 million people to work today. He was really good at managing his resources, but not his monetary ones. Essentially, he would use the unemployed to improve road conditions, or do other work that gets put on the back burner during other times of history, but one of the biggest critiques of FDR is that he drove the US into debt. However, his results were astronomical, and many of his programs still exist today, the Social Security Act or the SSA is still one that people use to this day, and if you follow American Politics, Social Security is always a hot topic. These are just to name a few of his programs, the CWA which as I said earlier created millions of jobs, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Federal Housing Administration, the National Recovery Act. Does anyone know what happened to the NRA? It was declared unconstitutional in the 50’s. So there is some debate about FDR’s actual results, but I would say that the majority of what he did is still in place today. How did he get these results? Does anyone know? (He pit people against each other, Executive Power, charmed them). Now, what skills, Presidential and leadership, is he showing? (Leadership: Administrative [i.e. Managing resources, managing people], Conceptual [i.e. strategic planning]. Presidential: Organizational Capacity, Political Skill, Cognitive Style). Sources: 2. “Wrong Harry: Four million jobs in two years? FDR did it in two months,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/chatterbox/2009/01/wrong_harry.html. 3. “Top 10 New Deal Programs,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://americanhistory.about.com/od/greatdepression/tp/new_deal_programs.htm.
This here is an excerpt from FDR’s 1945 Presidential Inaugural address. This is his call to arms of the American people. As you know, the US was somewhat reluctant to enter both World Wars (Isolationism), but Roosevelt appealed to their morals and values, and impressed upon the people that this was their duty as “citizens of the world.” What skills, Presidential or otherwise, is he showing here? (Presidential: his public communication skills, encompassed by his charisma and interpersonal leadership skills emotional intelligence, managing people, creating visions, strategic planning). His role in the war was coordinating with other Allies, so Churchill, and Stalin, also de Gaulle of France, and it was said that when Truman met with Churchill and Stalin, that it just wasn’t the same. They’d lost a key cornerstone to the leadership. Sources: “Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fourth Inaugural Address,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres52.html.
So we all know the saying “behind every great man is a great woman,” but I’ve modified this a bit. This woman, Eleanor Roosevelt, revolutionized the role of women in the White House, she is one of the main people responsible for the Universal Human Rights Act. She also heavily advised President Truman, who depended upon her opinion. What else do you guys know about her? What do you remember from your readings?
Eleanor Roosevelt moved into the White House with her husband, but unlike FDR, she was not elected, she merely went because she was his wife, and she went begrudgingly. Although she supported her husband outwardly, she did not want to be scrutinized by the nation, nor by the media. She had always preferred privacy. But soon, she changed her mind, once she realized that she could make a difference. She was the kind of woman who needed to be constantly moving, constantly doing something productive. She started writing “My Day,” which was a daily column that was published in newspapers. She wrote it from 1935-1962, two years before she passed away. This was her way of keeping the people informed, her form of transparency. In the White House, she started her own agenda. She dabbled in everything from administrative affairs (as she had to help her husband who was in a wheelchair, although that was disguised from the public), to advocacy for the unemployed, women, African-Americans, and student unions. She would go and inspect various locations in the US to see if New Deal programs were being implemented correctly, and if they were working. She tried to be as accessible to the people as possible, by presenting herself as an everyday, run of the mill American Housewife, although she was anything but. She would do the usual First Lady duties, she would host parties and greet guests, which she despised, but she took it one step further. She had her own press conferences, she had her own opinions and administrative work to do. She was an advocate, plain and simple. Why was she an advocate do you think? Why do you think she was so relentless and tireless? (She had a troubled family and personal life: FDR’s affair, not great marriage, lonely, parents both died when she was young, strained relationships with kids etc.) She assumed the leadership role, one that she was reluctant to take, but she took it an made something out of it. She had a vision to improve the lives of women and African-Americans, and she definitely showed technical competence by helping FDR’s cabinet to make decisions. Sources: “My Day,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/. “First Lady Biography: Eleanor Roosevelt,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=33.
Eleanor was regarded as a symbol of the American Housewife during the war. People looked up to her for inspiration and hope, just as they looked up to the President for strength. She was the mother of four servicemen, and of course, being the advocate she is, she strived for aid to the British army, as well as letting more refugees into the country. She did not succeed in all of her endeavors though. Despite her best efforts, she did try to get a Child Refugee Bill passed, but Congress opposed it. Of course, the “result” that she is most known for is that of the Human Rights Act, which is what your reading was on. Now I know it was a lot to sift through, but what did you guys gather from that? What sort of traits did you pick up on? (Determination, Hardworking, Dedicated, Opinionated, Head strong, Impatient, Integrity and Moral values (but only sometimes), Intelligence/Knowledgeable, Lack of Confidence, Influential). Sources: “First Lady Biography: Eleanor Roosevelt,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=33.
The memory of a leader is just as important as what he did when he was alive. As we commemorate and remember leaders, we enshrine them in history forever.
When remembering a leader, aside from commemorating them, they stay in our hearts and minds through the words they’ve spoken. These are some of my favorite quotes by FDR: 7. Quote found from: “Franklin D. Roosevelt: Fourth Inaugural Address,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres52.html. This is from his 1945 inaugural address, and to me, it doesn’t apply only to war or to US victory, I think it’s applicable to Franklin as well. It doesn’t mean we have to fight, it just means that we can make a difference simply by being willing to understand one another, and then stand up for what we know to be true. It brings out the idealist in me, but it’s something I truly believe. This is a good example of his emotional intelligence and good public speaking ability, he was really able to reach through the hearts and tug on the souls of the people. 8. Quote found from: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself: FDR’s first inaugural address,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/. This was from his first inuagural address in 1933, and you can see how he was trying to reassure the American people that money didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Even though he was going to get people back to work, he was trying to instill in them the idea that there is hope, even when it seems hopeless, there is something to be grateful for, even when everything seems lost.
Quotes found from: “Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/f/franklin_d_roosevelt.html. These are just some more examples of how the majority of FDR quotes are those that are uplifting, and it’s because he was a leader in such a dark time in US American history.
Quotes found from: 12. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eleanorroo161321.html. This is my absolute favorite quote by Eleanor, and it’s a good daily reminder to women, and all minorities that you have the power to change people’s minds, you decide if you are inferior or superior. Of course we know how much advocacy work she did outside of this by trying to promote equal rights through the government and through legislation, but this is just one of the ways she inspired many. 13. “Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/eleanor_roosevelt.html. She, like her husband, was truly inspiring to the people of the US during this time, and perhaps by their pure state of being, they pulled the US up by their bootstraps and got them back on the optimistic track. 14. “Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes,” accessed November 17, 2014, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/eleanor_roosevelt.html. Here you can see her advocacy for women’s rights and her respect for women seeping through her words. 15. “Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt,” in POL 199 Exploring Leadership: Managerial and Political Perspectives Reading Pack- Fall 2014. She, like her husband, touches upon this idea of fear, and this shows her emotional intelligence as well. She is trying to empower the people by telling them to be courageous, and to follow their dreams. This is the way that we remember Franklin and Eleanor, the parents of our nation.
Roosevelts Presentation 1
The Roosevelts: Sources
By, Alyssa Wilson
• Born 1882
• Married Eleanor in 1905
• Diagnosed with Polio in 1921
• New York Governor, 1929-1932
• President of the United States, 1933-1945
• Died 1945
A Brief Bit of History
• The US Stock Market crashed in 1929
• President Hoover created “Hoovervilles” (US shanty
• Over 25% unemployed
• The whole world collapsed after the dollar did
“The only thing we have to fear
is fear itself.”
• “I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my
induction into the Presidency I will address them with a
candor and a decision which the present situation of our
people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the
truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we
shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country
today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured,
will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert
my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear
Results: The New Deal
• “I pledge to you, I pledge to myself, a New Deal for the
• Put 4 million people to work through the CWA2
• CCC- employed people to pave roads and trails3
• FHA- designed to combat the Housing crisis
• NRA- designed to get employers and employees to
• SSA- provided income to retired workers
Roosevelt and the War
• “We have learned that we cannot live alone, at
peace; that our well-being is dependent on the well-
being of other nations far away. We have learned
that we must live as men, not as ostriches, nor as
dogs in the manger. We have learned to be citizens
of the world, members of the human community. We
have learned the simple truth, as Emerson said, that,
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”4
Behind every great man, is an
even greater woman.
• Eleanor Roosevelt:
• Born in 1884
• Married in 1905
• “First Lady of the World”
• Died 1964
Eleanor in the White House:
The First “First Lady”
• “The house was full of young people, my husband had a
cold and was in bed having milk-toast for his supper, so I
said a polite good-night to everyone and at seven-thirty
closed my door, lit my fire, and settled down to a nice
long evening by myself. I read things which I have had in
my brief case for weeks—a report on educational work
in the CCC Camps; a copy of "Progressive Education,"
dealing with the problems of youth; the first copy of a
magazine edited by a group of young people; a chapter in
manuscript, and I went to sleep at ten thirty.”5
- “My Day,” December 31, 1935
First Lady of the World
• Symbol in the war:6
• Refugee advocacy and relief
• Mother of four servicemen
• Symbol in International Policy:
• Human Rights Act
• “We can gain no lasting peace if we approach it with
suspicion and mistrust or with fear. We can gain it only if
we proceed with the understanding, the confidence, and
the courage to follow through with conviction.”7
• “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it
lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative
effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer
must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescence.
These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they
teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered
unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.”8
• “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of
their own minds.”9
• “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will
be our doubts of today.”10
• “True individual freedom cannot exist without
economic security and independence. People who
are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which
dictatorships are made.”11
• “No one can make you feel inferior without your
• “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of
• “A woman is like a tea bag- you can’t tell her how strong
she is until you put her in hot water.”14
• “… having learned to stare down fear, I long ago reached
the point where there is no living person whom I fear,
and few challenges that I am not wiling to face.”15
• About education. “Top 10 New Deal Programs.” Accessed
November 17, 2014.
• Bartleby.com “Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fourth Inaugural
Address.” Accessed November 17,
• BrainyQuote. “Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes.” Accessed
November 17, 2014.
Work Cited Cont’d:
• BrainyQuote. “Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes.” Accessed
November 17, 2014.
• BrainyQuote. “No one can make you feel inferior without your
consent.” Accessed November 17,
• Chatterbox. Peters, Charles and Noah, Timothy. “Wrong Harry:
Four million jobs in two years? FDR did it in two months.”
Accessed November 17, 2014.
Work Cited Cont’d:
• Cordon, Roberto and Wilson, Alyssa. “Franklin Delano
and Eleanor Roosevelt,” in POL 199 Exploring Leadership:
Managerial and Political Perspectives Reading Pack- Fall
2014. 30 p.
• “Franklin D. Roosevelt Inaugural Address 1933.” YouTube
video, 18:55. Posted by “Jewish Confederate,” December
• George Washington University. “My Day.” Accessed
November 17, 2014.
Work Cited Cont’d:
• Google images. “Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Accessed November 17, 2014.
• History Matters. ”The only thing we have to fear is
fear itself: FDR’s First inaugural address.” Accessed
November 16, 2014.
• National First Ladies Library. “First Lady Biography:
Eleanor Roosevelt.” Accessed November 17, 2014.