Words Matter

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Presidential Words Matter: FDR 1936 Democratic Convention

Season 3, Ep. 18

This week, we begin a new series, Presidential Words Matter. Since we currently have a president who doesn't seem to know or even understand the importance of words, especially when they are spoken by the president of the United States, we thought it might be helpful in a time of national crisis to remember that we have had presidents of both parties who did understand this.

These presidents have led our country through difficult times with the power and eloquence of their words.

So this week, we wanted to highlight President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in 1936 during the Great Depression and as the clouds of war gathered over Europe, delivered one of the most important political speeches ever given by a sitting president.

The occasion was the Democratic National Convention held that year in Philadelphia four years earlier in 1932. FDR had made history by flying to Chicago and becoming the first presidential candidate to accept his party's nomination in person.

In an earlier episode of Words Matter, we discussed this important speech with Professor Harvey Kaye, who has just published a new book entitled: FDR on Democracy.

In his 1936 acceptance speech, Roosevelt used the language of the founders and decried the economic royalists who were trying to fight back against the progress of the New Deal because it threatened their power.

As you listen to his words, pay particular attention to the part where Roosevelt tells his audience they have a rendezvous with destiny.

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