When President Franklin Roosevelt visited Pittsburgh in 1939, the entire world was riveted by events in Europe. World War II had been ongoing for one month and Americans were discussing the possibility of American involvement. The front pages of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette were devoted to reporting about the war.
FDR would return to Pittsburgh one year later, to campaign against GOP nominee Wendell Willkie. In the election, President Roosevelt became the first president to be elected to a third consecutive term, receiving 54.7% of the popular vote. The two-term limit for presidents was enacted into law in 1947.
Check out this fascinating YouTube video of FDR visiting Pittsburgh in 1940.
March 12, 1933, FDR’s First Fireside Chat on the Banking Crisis
As one of his first acts to confront the worsening impact of the Great Depression, newly elected President Roosevelt declared a nation-wide bank holiday starting on March 6, 1933 effectively shutting down the American banking system following a month long run on their reserves. Roosevelt went on the radio in his first “fireside chat” to dispel rumors and explain his actions. When banks reopened on March 13th, the public lined up to redeposit their cash. The bank holiday, along with the Emergency Banking Act passed on March 9th, is credited with restoring public confidence in the banking sector.
March 4, 1933: First Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt
On this day in 1933, the first inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt was held in Washington, D.C. The longest-serving president in U.S. history, and leader through the Great Depression and World War II — two of the nation’s worst crises — Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered by many to be our greatest president.