Saturday, November 10, 2012

POTUS Photus - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 44th Governor of New York the year he was elected POTUS in 1932. He defeated the incumbent, Herbert Hoover, who had to deal with the stock market crash of 1929. Prior to his term as governor of New York, he served as Woodrow Wilson's Assistant Secretary of the Navy, just like his cousin Theodore Roosevelt, who was the 33rd Governor of New York and the 26th POTUS. While TR went from the governorship to the vice presidency in 1901, the ticket of James Cox and FDR lost the White House in 1920, so FDR never served as vice president but was his party's choice for the office.

When FDR was sworn in as the 32nd President of the United States on March 4, 1933, the Great Depression was in full force. Since there was such a lag between the November 1932 election and the inauguration in March of 1933, the 20th Amendment was passed establishing the new start date for both the new Congress (January 3rd) and the new president, January 20th, which would take effect by the next presidential term. FDR used the federal government to help turn the tide of the depression by creating federal programs called the New Deal which would shape American politics for a generation. He would break with a precedent established by George Washington of serving two presidential terms by running for a third term in 1940. During his second term war broke out in Europe and in his 3rd term the Japanese Empire "suddenly and deliberately attack" our base in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. FDR would become a wartime president and use that mantle as a reason not to change horse midstream when the 1944 election came around. He would win a fourth term, but not live to see the end.

He had 3 vice presidents, John Nance Garner of Texas served the first two terms, Henry Wallace served the 3rd and with FDR's health on the decline fear of the left-leaning Wallace becoming president, a more suitable candidate replaced him, Harry S. Truman was his 4th term VPOTUS and his successor. FDR would eventually be ranked behind Washington and Abraham Lincoln as one of our nation's greatest presidents, having presided over the nation during the Great Depression and World War II. Because of his monopoly of presidential elections from 1932-1944, the 22nd Amendment was passed establishing a two-term limit for presidents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd POTUS
March 4, 1932-April 12, 1945
New York

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