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Governor and Presidential Candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt Begins Effective Use of Radio
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I hope during this campaign to use the radio frequently to speak to you about important things that concern us all.

On July 30, 1932, New York Governor Roosevelt delivered this speech from Albany, quoting extensively from and explaining many planks of the Democratic National Platform. Four weeks after the Democratic National Convention nominated Roosevelt on the fourth ballot in Chicago, he made this fantastic campaign speech.  He turned to a relatively new medium—the radio—to communicate with the American people. Broadcast radio began in 1920 but became more widespread over the next decade. This broadcast went out over the decade-old AM radio station WGY in Schenectady, New York, to the N.B.C. Network at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday. Roosevelt’s use of the radio brought his comforting voice into the homes and lives of average Americans and reassured them that he cared for them as part of an “imagined community.”

Employing the radio, Roosevelt could make certain that his message reached the widest possible audience, without the mediation of newspaper editors. He also spoke confidently in standard English at a slow rate to make certain that everyone understood him. He used everyday analogies, stories, and anecdotes to explain his thoughts clearly. Over his unprecedented three terms and a partial fourth term in office as President of the United States, Roosevelt delivered some thirty “fireside chats” to reassure the American people and give them hope during the bleak times of the Great Depression and World War II.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. Mimeographed Document Signed, press release of radio speech, July 30, 1932, Albany, NY. Prepared for release to the press. “For Release in the Morning Papers After Delivered” in type at top of first page. Signed at bottom of last page, “Franklin D. Roosevelt.” 6 pp., 8½ x 14 in.

Inventory #27712       Price: $10,500

I hope during this campaign to use the radio frequently to speak to you about important things that concern us all.” (p1)

I propose tonight to state the broad policies of my Party – to sketch the first outline of the final picture.... Now even the partisan opposition press has found it hard to criticize the Democratic Platform this year. It is brief, only one-fifth of the length of the Republican Platform, and easily understood.” (p1)

The entire Platform needs to be read in the light of its short preamble. This indicates that our present economic condition, how it came, what it is, and how it can be remedied – is the main issue of this campaign.” (p1)

‘In this time of unprecedented economic and social distress, the Democratic party declares its conviction that the chief causes of this condition were the disastrous policies pursued by our government since the World War, of economic isolation fostering the merger of competitive businesses into monopolies and encouraging the indefensible expansion and contraction of credit for private profit at the expense of the public.’” (p1)

“‘The only hope for improving present conditions, restoring employment, affording permanent relief to the people and bringing the nation back to its former proud position of domestic happiness and of financial, industrial, agricultural and commercial leadership in the world lies in a drastic change in economic and governmental policies.’” (p1)

Let us have the courage to stop borrowing to meet continuing deficits. Stop the deficits. Let us have equal courage to reverse the policy of the Republican leaders and insist on a sound currency.” (p2)

Our Party says clearly that not only must government income meet prospective expenditures, but this income must be secured on the principle of ability to pay. This is a declaration in favor of graduated income, inheritance and profits taxes, and against taxes on food and clothing whose burden is actually shifted to consumers of the necessities of life on a per capita basis rather than on the basis of the relative size of personal incomes.” (p2)

One of the great needs of the world is to set international trade flowing again. The proper procedure is to ascertain all of the pertinent facts to publish them widely and then to negotiate with each country affected.” (p4)

Up to this point, you and I have been considering both the immediate relief for the present emergency and also the immediate initiating of plans to bring us back to a more normal economic condition. At the same time it is equally our duty to guard against repetition of the evils and errors which have cost us so much. It is not enough to say that when prosperity is restored, we shall then consider how to avoid repeating all the old errors. Today we recognize these errors. Today they should be outlawed for all time to come.” (p4)

It must be made more difficult for a depression to happen in the future; it must be made impossible for its indefensible features to show themselves again.” (p5)

“‘We favor the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment.... We urge the enactment of such measures by the several states as will actually promote temperance, effectively prevent the return of the saloon and bring the liquor traffic into the open under complete supervision and control by the states.’” (p5)

And now my friends, I close my talk with you tonight with this concluding declaration: ‘To accomplish these purposes and to recover economic liberty we pledge the nominees of this Convention, and the best effort of a great party whose founder announced the doctrine which guides us now, in the hour of our country’s need “Equal rights to all, special privileges to none.”’” (p6)

Historical Background
In 1932, incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) of Iowa sought re-election in the midst of the Great Depression. Despite the poor economic conditions, Hoover had little opposition at the Republican National Convention in Chicago in June 1932 and won the nomination on the first ballot. The convention also re-nominated Vice President Charles Curtis (1860-1936) of Kansas.

At the Democratic National Convention, also held in Chicago two weeks later, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) was the frontrunner, but 1928 nominee and former New York Governor Alfred E. Smith and Speaker of the House of Representatives John Nance Garner (1868-1967) of Texas were also possibilities. Although Roosevelt led on the first ballot, he did not clinch the nomination until the fourth ballot. Garner cut a deal with Roosevelt to shift his delegates to Roosevelt in exchange for the vice-presidential nomination. Roosevelt broke with tradition and delivered his acceptance speech at the convention, establishing a new precedent for future nominees.

During the general campaign, Roosevelt traveled around the nation, accompanied by his campaign song, “Happy Days Are Here Again,” which became one of the most popular songs in American political history and the unofficial anthem of the Democratic Party. In contrast to Roosevelt’s support from a unified Democratic Party, Hoover faced opposition from many prominent Republicans. Many Americans also blamed Hoover for the Great Depression or at least for the failure to mitigate its effects.

On November 8, 1932, Roosevelt won in a landslide, capturing 57.4 percent of the popular vote to Hoover’s 39.7 percent. Roosevelt also won a landslide victory in the Electoral College by carrying 42 states with 472 electoral votes. Hoover carried only 6 states in New England and the mid-Atlantic (and 3 of them only narrowly) for a total of 59 electoral votes. He even lost his home states of Iowa and California to Roosevelt.

Condition: Rusty paperclip impression to the last page; accompanied by the original mailing envelope; very good.


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