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INV-27122.99 FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT First Inaugural Address, Typed Manuscript Signed, ca. May 1935, Washington, DC. 5 pp., 7 x 10 in. Accompanied by Marguerite Missy LeHand, Typed Letter Signed, June 5, 1935, on White House stationery, returning the signed typescript to Mr. Barker. 1933-03-04

the only thing we have to fear is fear itself....

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his landmark first Inaugural Address at the U.S. Capitol, on March 4, 1933. Many consider the speech to be one of the greatest in American history. On the day of the inauguration, the country was at the lowest point of the worst depression in American history. The banks had closed in thirty-two of the forty-eight states (plus the District of Columbia), unemployment was above 25 percent, farms were failing, and two million people were homeless. The New York Federal Reserve Bank would not be able to open the very next day, as panicky customers had withdrawn huge sums in the previous days. In this context, Roosevelt set forth a positive message addressing the country’s greatest needs: relief, recovery, and reform. His confidence, optimism, and the massive amount of “New Deal” legislation he sent to Congress in the first one hundred days of his administration did much to reassure the American people that better times were on the way.

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