80 years ago today, Franklin Delanoe Roosevelt gave the first of his inaugural addresses
. “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
as it was known would be the last time a President was inaugurated on a day other than January 20. While most of us know that particular line of the speech,the entire address is filled with inspiration in the face of our national malaise at the time. We were at the height of the Great Depression.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people’s money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.
There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.
Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.
The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States—a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.
What would happen after this speech was a beginning to the end of the Great Depression. Roosevelt would be elected 3 more times. He passed away on April 12, 1945. He gave us the New Deal and we entered World War II.
History still reshapes the man's legacy, but 80 years ago today the struggle between the Banksters, Robber Barons and the uber wealthy-- coupled with their power -- against those they indentured to them, began. That struggle continues today.