Franklin D. Roosevelt
(1882-1945)

Died aged c. 63

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (/ˈroʊzəvəlt/, his own pronunciation, or /ˈroʊzəvɛlt/; January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States, from 1933 to 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and dominated his party after 1932 as a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic depression and total war. His program for relief, recovery and reform, known as the New Deal, involved a great expansion of the role of the federal government in the economy. As a dominant leader of the Democratic Party, he built the New Deal Coalition that brought together and united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans, and rural white Southerners in support of the party. The Coalition significantly realigned American politics after 1932, creating the Fifth Party System and defining American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. Roosevelt was born in 1882, to an old, prominent Dutch family from Dutchess County, New York. He attended the elite educational institutions of Groton School and Harvard College. At age 23 in 1905, he married Eleanor Roosevelt, with whom he had six children. He entered politics in 1910, serving in the New York State Senate, and then as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson. In 1920, Roosevelt ran for vice president with presidential candidate James M. Cox, but the Cox/Roosevelt ticket lost to the Republican ticket of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Roosevelt was stricken with debilitating polio in 1921, which cost him the use of his legs and put his future political career in jeopardy, but he attempted to recover from the illness, and founded the treatment center for people with polio in Warm Springs, Georgia. After returning to political life by placing Alfred E. Smith's name into nomination at the 1924 Democratic National Convention, Roosevelt, at Smith's behest, successfully ran for Governor of New York in 1928. In office from 1929 to 1933, he served as a reform governor promoting the enactment of programs to combat the Great Depression besetting the United States at the time. In 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, Roosevelt successfully defeated incumbent Republican president Herbert Hoover to win the presidency of the United States. Having been energized by his personal victory over his polio, FDR relied on his persistent optimism and activism to renew the national spirit. In his first hundred days in office, which began March 4, 1933, Roosevelt spearheaded unprecedented major legislation and issued a profusion of executive orders that instituted the New Deal—a variety of programs designed to produce relief (government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (economic growth), and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks and transportation). He created numerous programs to support the unemployed and farmers, and to encourage labor union growth while more closely regulating business and high finance. The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 added to his popularity, helping him win re-election by a landslide in 1936. The economy improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, but then relapsed into a deep recession in 1937–38. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented his packing the Supreme Court, and blocked almost all proposals for major liberal legislation (except the minimum wage, which did pass). When the war began and unemployment ended, conservatives in Congress repealed the two major relief programs, the WPA and CCC. However, they kept most of the regulations on business. Along with several smaller programs, major surviving programs include the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Wagner Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Social Security. As World War II loomed after 1938, with the Japanese invasion of China and the aggression of Nazi Germany, Roosevelt gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and the United Kingdom, while remaining officially neutral. His goal was to make America the "Arsenal of Democracy", which would supply munitions to the Allies. In March 1941, Roosevelt, with Congressional approval, provided Lend-Lease aid to Britain and China. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which he called "a date which will live in infamy", Roosevelt sought and obtained the quick approval, on December 8, of the United States Congress to declare war on Japan and, a few days later, on Germany. (Hitler had already declared war on the US in support of Japan). Assisted by his top aide Harry Hopkins, and with very strong national support, he worked closely with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in leading the Allies against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan in World War II. He supervised the mobilization of the U.S. economy to support the war effort, and also ordered the internment of 100,000 Japanese American civilians. As an active military leader, Roosevelt implemented a war strategy on two fronts that ended in the defeat of the Axis Powers and the development of the world's first nuclear bomb. His work also influenced the later creation of the United Nations and Bretton Woods. During the war, unemployment dropped to 2%, relief programs largely ended, and the industrial economy grew rapidly to new heights as millions of people moved to wartime factory jobs or entered military service. Roosevelt's health seriously declined during the war years, and he died three months into his fourth term. He is often rated by scholars as one of the top three U.S. Presidents, along with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

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Commemorated on 4 plaques

In 1889, aged 7 Franklin D. Roosevelt President of the U.S.A. 1933-45 convalesced here.

Aldwyn Tower, Malvern, United Kingdom where he convalesced

Texas Historical Marker #4577

Santa Fe Depot. Built 1899. Beaux Arts design features native stone banding. When intact, north windows of painted glass depicted travel from Pony Express to steam locomotives. Visitors here have included such world figures as Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. Depot was used by six railroad companies. As of 1970, Santa Fe served Texas with greater trackage than any other railroad, 5102 miles. #4577

1501 Jones, Fort Worth, TX, United States where he visited

Texas Historical Marker #5194

Tarpon Inn. In 1886 Frank Stephenson, a boat pilot and assistant Aransas lighthouse keeper, opened an inn at this site in an old barracks. He called the facility "Tarpon Inn" for the abundant trophy fish in nearby gulf waters. The Inn served as a landmark for sailors, and Port Aransas was known for a time as "Tarpon". In 1897 Mary Cotter and her son J.E. Bought the two story inn from Stephenson. After the building burned in 1900, two new structures were built in 1904. When the 1919 hurricane destroyed the main structure, the dining facility was used until it was sold in 1923 to James M. Ellis and his wife. Ellis soon rebuilt this inn to resemble the old barracks. He placed 20-foot poles in 16 feet of concrete with pilings at the corner of each room to reinforce it against future hurricanes. For a time guests could reach the inn only by boat. It became a tradition to sign and date a Tarpon scale and place it on the wall in the front room. Among the famous patrons was president Franklin D. Roosevelt who fished here in 1937. Duncan Hines spent his honeymoon here and recommended the food for the next 25 years. The inn has housed many area residents during storms and served as headquarters for the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Military units. #5194

200 East Cotter Ave., Port Aransas, TX, United States where he was

Texas Historical Marker #6759

Robert E. Lee Park. The land in this area was once part of a Republic land grant awarded to pioneer William Grigsby. The Dallas Consolidated Electric Street Railway Company bought twenty acres of the property in 1903, and in cooperation with developers Oliver P. Bowser and William H. Lemmon built Oak Lawn Park. Weekend visitors and prospective land buyers paid five cents to ride the streetcar to the park, which offered a variety of recreational activities. The City of Dallas purchased the park with its native trees in 1909. In 1928, the Dallas Southern Memorial Association (DSMA) began plans for the placement of a statue of Robert E. Lee in the park. Executed by Canadian sculptor A. Phimister Proctor, the bronze statue was unveiled on June 12, 1936, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The park's name was changed to Robert E. Lee Park, and two years later, in a cooperative effort by the DSMA, Park and Recreation Board, and the Federal Works Progress Administration, a two-thirds scale replica of Arlington Hall, Robert E. Lee's home in Virginia (now a part of Arlington National Cemetery) was constructed. Throughout its history, this park has provided a place of recreation and relaxation for Dallas citizens. It remains one of the city's most popular attractions. #6759

3400 Turtle Creek, Dallas, TX, United States where he unveiled